One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays by Scaachi Koul [in Library Journal]
Certain authors are their own best narrators – even more true for memoirs (think Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Luvvie Ajayi). Here, Scaachi Koul’s accomplished reading comes with the bonus of regular vocal interjections from her father.
With this first book, a collection of smart, sassy, revealing essays, BuzzFeed culture writer Koul presents her personal experiences as universally resonating; her youthful, earnest voice serves to enhance what’s on the page. Caught between her parents’ Kashmiri immigrant background and her Calgary birth and upbringing, Koul deftly uses humor as an effective balm in soothing uncomfortable generational, familial, cultural, and ethnic disconnects.
She knows how to laugh at herself (a changing-room fiasco with the perfect skirt), but she’s unblinkingly veracious about inequity (“shadism” in India) and rape culture (“the first time I was roofied”). Most compelling for today’s media-addicted generation might be the two-week hiatus Koul took from Twitter – deleting her account – after a tweet about wanting to read more work by nonwhite, nonmale writers provoked a vicious barrage, including death threats.
Verdict: Koul definitively has her say – although her irresistible father still has the sweet satisfaction of getting the last word.