This Essay Collection Might Be The Most Relatable Book Of The Year

by Sadie Trombetta

You might not be the child of Indian immigrants, you might not be Canadian, and you might not even have an irrational fear of death, but I can guarantee that after reading the hilarious and honest essays in Scaachi Koul's debut collection, you'll agree that One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter is the most relatable book you'll read this year.

Not unlike her work on BuzzFeed or her infamous Twitter account, Scaachi Koul's confessional essays in One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter take the writer's unique personal experiences and, through keen observations and skillful writing, transforms them into a hilarious and biting review of modern western culture as a whole. Whether she is recounting a trip to her parent's homeland in India or reliving a humiliating experience in a women's dressing room, Koul manages to balance uproarious comedy with poignant blows to the gut, somehow mastering the art of being both fun and affecting, outrageous and vulnerable.

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In her collection of ten essays, Koul uses her life to explore broader cultural themes, from racism, sexism, and prejudice to girlhood, body image, love, and family. She talks about her childhood growing up in Canada, "a land of ice and casual racism," her college years and the first taste of freedom that left her and her friends feeling "invincible thanks to the poisonous combination of youth and loneliness and the drinks that tethered us together," and the obstacles she faced when she decided to move in with her boyfriend, including the fact that she is "a girl, and brown girls are inevitably treated differently than their brothers or male cousins." While wholly unique to her life, Koul is able to take her own experiences and translate them for a broader audience who will undoubtedly find a piece of themselves in her writing.

And that's what makes Koul's collection so dazzlingly brilliant: it is relatable to millennials who have grown up during the same time, and for everyone on the outside, it's a window into the collective experiences of a different generation.

These 13 quotes will explain exactly what I mean:


"But do you know what my apartment has that no other place does? All my stuff. All the things that let me dull out the reminders of my human existence."

— "Inheritance Tax"


"I was never in danger. Nothing bad can happen to you if you're with your mom. Your mom can stop a bullet from lodging in your heart. She can prop you up when you can't. You mom is your blood and bone before your body even knows how to make any.”

— "Inheritance Tax"


"Before I take off now, I text or email or call anyone I can think would be sad about my death and tell them I love them and the code for my debit card is 3264 and please help yourself to the $6.75 that may or may not still be in there, depending on if I purchased a pre-flight chewy pizza-pretzel, the World's Saddest Final Meal."

— "Inheritance Tax"


"I have never been this white anywhere in the world. I've never had the most obvious, most useful kind of privilege as soon as I've walked into a room. This, though, is maybe what it's like to be white."

— "Fair and Lovely"


"If you are a woman reading this, you know this to be true: the possibility of getting stuck in a garment at a store where the employees have to cut you out of it is the beginning of the end of your life. It's like the saddest version of a C-section, where the baby is just a half-naked lady with no dignity."

— "Size Me Up"


"So much of immigration is about loss. First you lose bodies: people who die, people whose deaths you missed. Then you lose history: no one speaks the language anymore, and successive generations grow more and more westernized. Then you lose memory: throughout this trip, I tried to place people, where I had met them, how I knew them. I can't remember anything anymore."

— "Aus-piss-ee-ous"


"Women can't be fun all the time, can't drink without consequence. Frankly, few people can, but who feels the consequences of their otherwise harmless actions quite like women? People told me countless times how dangerous it is to be a woman and drink near men, how careful you have to be, how it's your fault if you let something happen."

— "A Good Egg"


"Men watch women in a way we've long since normalized. It's normal for men to watch you when you enter a bar, to watch what you're drinking, what you're doing, in an attempt to get closer to you [...] Men watch women at the gym, at work, on the subway: in any space occupied by men and women, the women are being watched."

— "Hunting Season"


"The most terrifying prospect that comes with learning about oral sex is appreciating that someday you might want to let someone's face be that close to your vagina. With their mouth. Their mouth."

— "Mister Beast Man to You, Randor"


“It's no wonder I keep fighting with riff-raff on the internet. I’m expecting human interaction, and all they’re offering are beeps. I was dumb enough to want a hug from a machine.”

— "Mute"


“I'm not white, no, but I'm just close enough that I could be, and just far enough that you know I'm not. I can check off a diversity box for you and I don't make you nervous - at least not on the surface. I'm the whole package!”

— "Fair and Lovely"


"Often, people describe rape as an unfortunate accident, two drunk bodies colliding: it's more about miscommunication than intentionally ignoring a lack of consent, or actively seeking a body and mind that can't say no. But rape culture doesn't flourish by error; it's a methodical operation so ingrained in our public consciousness that we don't even notice when it's happening, and we rarely call it our even when we do see it."

— "Huntin Season"


"For the first year, I drank too much and licked powdered cheese off my fingers for dinner and collapsed on side streets alone, but once I realized that this was my life now, a life without parents circling me with hair ties ("It's going to get caught in your seat belt") or plates of protein-rich food ("Your eyes will fall out of your head if you don't eat"), it was up to me to be afraid for me."

— "Inheritance Tax"

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