Reviews

 




SELF, 2015-16

“I am writing because I wanted to thank you all for sharing ideas and memoirs, I am very much impressed and really enjoyed the workshop [SELF]. I’ve been working on my writing, and finished one short story which I feel so happy after I finished writing it (it’s in Thai.) I’m working on its English version pretty soon and will send to you all for the feedback. Bottom line is I’m happy to let you know that I’ve somehow overcome my fear of writing, though there’re times when I got stuck with the stories, get distracted, or feel like it’s not good enough – if it was before, I was just going to give up. Now, I feel it challenged me and I find writing more enjoyable. Most importantly, I feel like my writing is getting better too.” –JL, Guest at ‘SELF’, a workshop to discover the ‘concept of self,’ in Bangkok. Hosted at Neilson Hays Library, 2014

“Meeting so many kinds of people at different walks of life was inspiring, because people who show up, I call this ‘self-selection’, are the sorts of people who are looking to explore and get to know others interested in also exploring. Making oneself available to come to an event that seemed to hint at others also taking a chance on trying new things did something very important. It showed me that the barriers to me doing what I want to do creatively start right here, with myself. A skeptic inside fights the opportunities that arise. I joined a writers’ group, and then your workshop… It motivates me, makes me feel like I am part of something great,” —D, Guest at ‘SELF’ in Bangkok. Hosted at Neilson Hays Library, 2015

 




Breakfast in Cambodia, 2016

‘This reads like a work of philosophy.’ —JK, on Breakfast in Cambodia, 2016

 



Kanishka, 2015

‘I look forward greatly to reading anything by this Kamal di punjabi kurri. Please support her extraordinary journey through life and be rewarded!! ‘—Poonam Singh, Publisher, Preetlari Magazine. (Dipika Kohli was invited to write the book as part of a three-week writing residency with the magazine in Punjab.)

‘I loved it, Dipika. You and I are different in many ways. I am not sure we would fully agree on what and where we are. But we are also are the same. I really connected with Kanishka. Life, to me, is also all about connections among all of us, but also connections we make in our mind among events and happenstance, and the things we learn from their resonance. I’ve never had an experience anything like what you had when you lost Jaya, but I could feel it, and how it shaped the way you connect with the world, and how you connect it all in your consciousness. I really, really like your epilogue. Thanks…’ —Eric Frederick in a comment on Kanishka

 



 

The Elopement, 2012

‘Karin Malhotra’s ambitious parents left Delhi in search for a new life, for better opportunities for them and their children. Sadly, by forcing their own ambitions onto Karin, they sowed what they would later reap: an unhappy daughter, rejecting her family’s strict expectations by following her heart and searching for her own “better opportunities”. Her interpretation of the phrase, unfortunately, did not agree with that of her parents, who refused even to acknowledge Karin’s relationship with Japanese boyfriend Yoshi… Little wonder that, when Karin finds the acceptance from Yoshi’s parents that she never had from her own, elopement seems an attractive, fairytale-like option. But of course, everyone knows that not all fairytales have happy endings. And while it might be possible to create one’s own destiny, the lesson we can learn from this book is that it is folly to try to create someone else’s.’ —Kate Allison, Displaced Nation. Read the full review here  >

The Elopement is an easy and moving memoir of what it means to let go of the hurts, the resentments, the bad relationships, or the cultural barriers that deter deeper connections whether platonic, romantic, familial, or work-wise. Dipika writes with beauty and fluidity and strong imagery set in the idyllic landscape of Ireland. I felt various emotions while reading this book, especially because it is rather autobiographical/based on real-life events and can therefore speak for plenty of people.—VJ at Goodreads. Read the review here >

Her writing style mirrors that of her blog, Kismuth, the practical infused with the mystical, perhaps reflecting the duality of the cultures in which she was raised. In an interview with the Clarion Content, Ms. Kohli said she felt the tension and the joy of real, powerful reactions. She faced it travelling solo through India, meeting her Dad’s uncles and her Mom’s aunts, heretofore unknown, learning that although she grew up in a nuclear family in North Carolina, she was part of a large extended family that had by no means forgotten or abandoned her.. She faced her own reactions everywhere from a quiet, and sometimes lonely, Irish cottage to flying a kite by herself at lunchtime over Lake Crabtree, desperate to get away from a mindset that didn’t suit her… She notes that she was no finished product, instead, she says, “I liked who I was becoming.” Ms. Kohli takes us through that becoming and beyond in what is the first of a four part series. A memoir that she hopes will, “give people time, space and permission to do some soul searching of their own.” Aaron Mandel, on Clarion Content. Read full review here >

This book offers genuine insight into what it feels like to be a young woman who follows her heart around the globe rather than following the “shoulds.” What it’s like to be a second generation Indian American who steps outside the lines. And what it’s like to be a person crafting a life for herself on a narrow, winding, and often confusing path, rather than sleepily following the broad highway paved by expectations and convention. —K8LN, at the Amazon page for The Elopement

‘Dipika is a[n] author who clearly has been writing for years. Her ability to illustrate a particular moment, object, or emotion is amazing. Her writing style is different than what I am accustomed to reading. Its almost poetic. As the reader you can expect to gain insight into the mind, heart and soul of a Woman who lives life passionately and purposely. Also, Dipika does a nice job at outlining the good and not so pretty reality of what it means to defy cultural norms.” —Anonymous, on the Amazon page for The Elopement

This is a great book. I gulped it up end to end in a few hours, just could not stop. Dipika takes us through the struggles of her character Karin, her choices and their implications as she faces them in most disparate scenarios: the rustic town of cork, the deserts of rajasthan, streets of tokyo and suburbs of north carolina. A must read for anyone who enjoys traveling, or who wonders about second choices or simply if you want a good read. Very well done ! —PK, on the Amazon page for The Elopement

I must say first that this genre of book is typically not my style. But I took a chance after hearing the author interviewed on public radio. The author paints amazing pictures of her travels and landscapes. She tells a story of a young woman finding her way despite her families wishes. She leads the reader on an adventure around the world from a small town in NC to India, Japan, New York, and Ireland. She talks about her thoughts and struggles about leading the life she chose for herself and her husband to be and all of the family dynamics. All of this in a very short quick read. Dipika is a rare author and person that is wildly authentic in her writing. I am sure we will see more from this author in the future. —Victor Jimenez, on the Amazon page for The Elopement

After I purchased the Elopement I had totally planned to read it all in one go, when I had more “free time”, but then I started it on my phone to “test” it, because I’d not read a book on my phone before. Since then I read it here and there during the day… and it’s been incredible!.. What comes through the most is the personality of the author and truly feeling her perspective as she goes through this collage of beautiful and heartwarming(-breaking) incidents. The somewhat conversational style and the painterly touches of language really enrich what is already a non-traditional story of this type. The artistry of the language is matched only by the truthfulness to the emotional journey the author has been through… If you’re a fan of good travel writing, poetic prose, and personal essays/memoir of the type where the aesthetics of a scene are just as important as its recitation of events and their details, then you’ll love this book. Like me you’ll find yourself wishing to visit the Ireland, India, and Japan all at once, if only to see your familiar spaces in a new light when you return home. I’m really looking forward to the next one! —Tim S., on the Amazon page for The Elopement