Book Title: Not Quite A Disaster After All
Author: Buku Sarkar
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Two women with different personalities, yet sharing a common goal of self-discovery, are at the heart of this story. Anita and Anjali are intertwined with the cities of Calcutta and New York, each representing different forms of freedom and confinement.
Calcutta, with its wealthy and privileged lifestyle, suffocates Anita, while New York offers her an escape. Anjali, on the other hand, struggles with her mundane life in Ohio and her chauvinistic husband.
Anita, born into privilege, is an unlikeable and rebellious misfit. Her journey takes her from her Calcutta home with her cousins to the gritty bars of New York, where she finally discovers her passion as an author. She is fiercely independent and unapologetic, always striving for more.
In contrast, Anjali finds joy in simple pleasures like window shopping and eating out, which feel rebellious in her suburban life. She is relatable but not well-known, as we see her struggling with motherhood and defending her decisions despite not always agreeing with them.
Through her debut novel, ‘Not Quite a Disaster After All,’ Sarkar has achieved a remarkable feat of combining evocative prose, wry humor, and a nuanced portrayal of the struggles faced by women.– Saurabh Chawla
In “Not Quite a Disaster After All,” the two cities, Calcutta and New York are also characters in themselves. Calcutta represents wealth and family, breaking stereotypes of heat and dust, while New York is a symbol of fast life but also has its share of grimy dive bars and suburbs.
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The cover art reflects the book’s starkness, laying bare its flaws without filters, but offering a promise of hope. The author’s writing style is sharp-edged, unapologetically feminine, and captures the essence of her photography.
Buku Sarkar’s debut novel, “Not Quite a Disaster After All,” is a resounding success, showcasing the author’s skill in crafting poignant and vivid prose, infused with wry humor, while also offering a nuanced exploration of the challenges faced by women.
Read more book reviews in our March 2023 Issue featuring Anuja Chandramouli