One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

Book - 2017
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"A debut collection of essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, "a land of ice and casual racism," addressing sexism, cultural stereotypes and the universal miseries of life by the irreverent, hilarious and incomparable rising star and cultural observer, Scaachi Koul. In suburban Calgary, at a young and impressionable age, Scaachi Koul learned what made her miserable. Not just uncomfortable, not just mild irritants, not just the long commute you have in the morning: things that make you doubt your humanity. And it turns out, everything did. In The Pursuit of Misery, Scaachi shares her observations, fears and experiences as a woman of colour growing up in Canada. These are stories ranging from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to internet garbage, to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrated parents and bled down a generation. Stories of returning to India where her parents grew up, and ultimately about trying to find her place in the world. With a sharp eye and biting wit, Scaachi explores the absurdity of a life and culture steeped in misery. And through these intimate, wise and laugh-out-loud funny dispatches, a portrait of a bright new literary voice emerges."--
Publisher: Toronto :, Doubleday Canada,, 2017.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780385685351
Characteristics: 241 pages ;,22 cm.


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Dec 05, 2019

Essay collections have a special place in my heart, especially when they’re as thoughtfully composed as this one, and this particular blend of humor and poignance is powerfully appealing to me. Koul writes about family, cultural identity, friendship, love, fear, and body hair (among many other topics!) with a lighthearted warmth that leads you through her deep topics like a best friend would. At the end, I felt like I wanted to study this book to see how it worked, like I could write an entire essay myself in praise of how Koul uses seemingly separate pieces to form a cohesive whole, how she uses information or revelations in one essay to lead you to her deeper truth in the next and the more time you spend with her, the deeper you want to go.

May 28, 2019

I don't know why I persevered and read the whole book but after the first chapter it was downhill all the way. I felt it was pure drivel. The author who decries 'shadism' obsesses over her 'fairness' - a fact she mentions every few pages. It is clear she has no roots and can't come to terms with her being brown in a white society.

Feb 25, 2019

Some of the events were hilarious and we'll described, but I quickly tired of her focus on her "plight" - wrong size, wrong shape, wrong color, etc.

OPL_MichelleC Jan 17, 2019

Scaachi Koul shares stories of her life, with an emphasis on her family and heritage. It was delightfully funny, eye-opening, and relatable. I highly recommend!

Jul 07, 2018

I needed to younger to relate to this series of short stories about being the child of Indian immigrants to Canada. There were plenty of funny stories and it was interesting listening to her interactions with her south Asian culture, but I wasn’t pulled into the story.

JCLHebahA May 29, 2018

This one was a bit outside my usual wheelhouse, but I'm glad I picked it up. The essay collection spans topics from handling the expectations of immigrant parents to racism to being a woman on the internet, with droll wit sprinkled throughout. One of my favorite chapters involved a visit back to India for a relative's wedding, highlighting both unfair gender expectations and the bonds of family, bittersweet with ruminations of the fragments of identity that get lost through immigration.

LPL_KateG Dec 04, 2017

Scaachi Koul is hilarious. As a young woman of color (and the daughter of Indian immigrants) she has not often found herself represented in popular culture and so is carving out a space for herself and women like her. And it's a freaking awesome space. This book of essays covers a wide range of topics from battling overwhelming body hair, to teaching her dad about Twitter, to rampant sexual harassment, to the "joy" (read: so not joy) of being a guest at an Indian wedding. I'm excited to see what Ms. Koul does in the future!

Nov 18, 2017

great book! it's like having a chat with your new best friend. i'm of the same generation as the author, and also a female person of colour. my parents were not as strict as hers, but also not as quirky... still found this to be a wonderfully relatable read!!

Aug 07, 2017

Something so precious and tender about this beautifully written account of growing up unique, hairy and brown in a world so unlike her. So many stories like this seem sappy or sad or, worse yet, self absorbed and entitled, but this is nothing like that. She's smart and strong, yet she doesn't write like that. It's such a good balance of interior and exterior thought/dialog vs action/storyline that you just want to call her up and say thank you.

Beautifully, smartly, written, about an experience as far removed from mine as you can get, yet totally relatable and readable (in a day!).

Jul 29, 2017

The pieces in this collection range in tone, but even the essays that are pure humour have an undertow of cultural commentary. As she recounts getting stuck in a skirt in the fitting room of a clothing store where she used to work—and having to be cut out of it—Koul manages to perfectly capture the tendency to pin our hopes on the perfect wardrobe. Even as she is getting stuck, she thinks this is “The item, the big item that changes the way I dress and thereby changes the way I am as a person. It’s not just a skirt; it’s the entry fee for a better existence. I would exude a new confidence, it would smooth out the wrinkles in my body, it would hide all the ways I have disappointed and failed people in the past.” Body image is never far beneath the surface of these reflections, with race and gender only serving to further complicate matters. And this piece fits into the collection right alongside more serous pieces, such as the dissection surveillance as an aspect of rape culture, showcasing Koul’s diverse range and deft hand with a variety of subject matter.

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Jul 29, 2017

The daughter of Kashmiri Indian immigrants, Scaachi Koul was born in Canada, and grew up in Calgary, Alberta before moving to Toronto for university. There she became a writer and editor for BuzzFeed Canada, and started dating a white man more than a decade her senior who she kept secret from her parents for many years. She sparked on a storm on Twitter in 2016 when she put out a call for more diverse submissions. Her debut collection of essays addressing growing up at the intersection of two cultures, fighting for a place in either one, while constantly defending choices her parents do not understand or approve of. Koul approaches this subject with a biting humour that belies the seriousness of the subject matter.


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Jul 29, 2017

Violence: Discussion and analysis of rape culture.


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Jul 29, 2017

Mom talks about moving to Canada as though my father had requested she start wearing fun hats. Why not try it? she thought, instead of This fucking lunatic wants me to go to a country made of ice and casual racism.

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