You Are a Ray of Sunshine in This Dark, Ominous World
"Like farts and incorrect retellings of classic literature, racism is a lot cuter when it comes out of a little girl." - Scaachi Koul
One Day We'll All Be Dead And None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul is a mix of laugh out loud antics and a sober meditation about race, identity, what it means to be a woman, fear and strength, and the intersections of all these.
The book starts with Koul's thoughts and fears on flying. Oddly enough, I started reading this while waiting in a Southern California airport. I flew for the first time by myself and felt and strange sense of comfort from the thought that I was the only person terrified by the prospect.
I found many moments in this book (memoir, essay collection, assortment of thoughts?) that made me want to message Koul praise-hand emojis for days. Koul's loving but extremely protective parents reminded me of my own. Her memories of awkwardly growing up and feeling like your body was normal, let alone beautiful, hit close to home. Meanwhile, Koul's experiences growing up as the child of immigrants reminded me of my friends' lives and experiences.
I blew through this short book. By the end Koul feels like a friend that finished catching up with. As mentioned above, I think Koul wove serious topics with humor elegantly and in her own style.
So while discussing the relatable delusion that a magical outfit will change the way you look, how people perceive you, and how you love yourself, I couldn't help but laugh with her about the absurdity of it while also realizing that many of us do this subconsciously.
Or when she discusses the subtleties of shadism (the preference of lighter skin tones over darker tones within the same ethnic group or race). The quote at the being of this post refers to Koul's niece who is travels to India with the family as a child. Her niece, "Raisin", is half white and half Indian. Koul uses Raisin's racial ambiguity to touch on issues of prejudice in India and in Canada. Moreover, Koul's experience as a first-generation Canadian-Indian allows her to view discrimination and gender roles in India from a unique perspective, both as an insider and and outsider to the culture.
I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for a quick read, interesting nonfiction, or to expand your library with more women of color writers