Read IN BED: Too Much and Not the Mood

Words by Sam Somers

Isn’t it fun to read a sentence that races ahead of itself? Muses Durga Chew-Bose in her debut collection of essays aptly titled Too Much and Not the Mood. And race ahead of herself she does - over and over, and over again.

You may have heard this term before, too much and not the mood. It’s a wondrous statement. Bold. Durga borrowed (or more suitably, re-purposed) the title from the last few words of a diary entry from Virginia Woolf who used it because she wondered if she had anything at all that was truly worth saying. And in a sense, Chew-Bose wonders this same thing across a smattering of essays and manages to answer herself at the same time.

The best thing about Too Much and Not the Mood is the prose. It’s unlike anything I have read before. She writes the way certain friends tell stories, where instead of relying on structure, her words and tales just bounce from sentence to sentence, leaping from beautiful tangent to beautiful tangent. It’s hauntingly restless. It’s almost like a snowball effect but with words. She somehow moves on from the subject, but simultaneously manages to add more depth to it as she goes.

This unique style of writing makes you feel as though you’re wrapped up in conversation, not unlike conversing with an old friend at Christmas. Each essay is a delicate conversation that Chew-Bose has collected over years of living in her own head, finally coming out to cover a swathe of subjects like identity, womanhood, being a young creative in the new age, and maybe most importantly – culture.

There’s something in the way she focuses on the most mundane details of living (the best parts of life IMO). It’s the beautiful diary of an overthinker left on a public bench.