ONE DAY WE’LL ALL BE DEAD AND NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER by Scaachi Koul

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One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter reads like a collection of Buzzfeed-style essays, which makes sense given Koul is a Buzzfeed writer. There are lots of parentheticals, all caps dialogue, and the kind of contemporary references that make this a very 2017. This kind of writing may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it’s breeziness and familiar references that make me feel part of the in-crowd. The essays address a range of issues, from fear of flying to racism to sexism to what it’s like writing for sites like Buzzfeed, with a healthy does of Indian cultural perspectives on phenomenons like Indian weddings. None of these essays are especially revolutionary, but that’s not the point. She very much draws up personal experience and observations versus a more research-heavy approach to these subjects, and there’s both drawbacks and merits to her approach. For one, I felt much more emotionally connected to Koul, relating to some of her experiences and ideas, which helped me understand her perspective a little more when she wrote about things outside of my experience, particularly racism and immigrant culture. And some may be put off by the anecdote-heavy and evidence-light narratives, but I enjoyed them. Koul is an engaging writer who isn’t trying to solve prejudice or be the next great Canadian novelist. She’s a woman who’s afraid of flying and loves her niece and wants to fight Internet trolls. She’s authentic in a way that feels authentic, in large part due to the fact that she’s humble. The title suggests that one day we’ll all be dead, so perhaps these essays and the experiences behind them won’t mean anything. And that awareness (bordering on nihilist anxiety) serves to ground these essays. Koul is no omniscient writer; she’s a person trying to make sense of the world we live in together. And perhaps this book will fade from public consciousness. But the key is that it might survive, and with it, Koul’s thoughts about the things that we have trouble talking about. One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter is a light-hearted yet thoughtful approach to topics both hilarious and serious

 

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