I Look Forward to Hearing from You

Nick Bhasin

I Look Forward to Hearing from You
Format
Paperback
Publisher
Random House Australia
Country
Australia
Published
13 June 2023
Pages
384
ISBN
9781761046988

I Look Forward to Hearing from You

Nick Bhasin

It's 2002. Britney and Justin are done. Low-rise jeans tyrannise the pants-wearing public. And Hector Singh, a 27-year-old eccentric, moderately talented yet extremely confident aspiring TV writer, is hell bent on 'making it' in LA. He's Puerto Rican and Indian but also post-race (or so he thinks) and he refuses to be intimidated by the Whites Only landscape of show business.

But when his mother dies suddenly, Hector's grief turns into depression, triggering dark thoughts and a binge-eating disorder. He lands a potentially career-launching job as a writers' assistant on a TV drama, but antidepressants make things much worse.

With a series of implosions that threaten to sink his work and relationships, Hector unravels. Spectacularly.

Can he navigate Hollywood racism, diet-culture oppression and overwhelming grief to survive this emotional crisis? Does he pull himself together in time to sell his TV show in a meeting with big producers? Will he catch an extremely fit Tom Cruise and give him a script?

Seems unlikely.

A hilarious, satirical, madcap and moving roller-coaster ride through the world of Hollywood as seen through one person's descent into despair.

Review

Set in early 2000s when Britney and Justin were still together (yes, Nick Bhasin goes there), Hector, a Puerto Rican–Indian American moves to Hollywood to pursue his destiny. His dream is to be a screenwriter who gets his TV script into the right hands – or just any hands, even if it means printing out more than a dozen copies. After all, even a waiter could potentially help Hector meet the right people.

With the connections of his roommate Laura, Hector is hired as a writer’s assistant on a soon-to-be-released TV show. As Hector navigates Hollywood seeking writing success, he is battling body dysmorphia, an eating disorder, and casual racism, all while grieving the unexpected loss of his mother back in his hometown in New Jersey.

I Look Forward to Hearing from You takes you on a journey that depicts what it’s like to go through complex psychological battles, including with intrusive thoughts, and the ongoing grief which memories can spontaneously bring. Bhasin wonderfully describes what it is like being a young adult with ambitions to become great in a cut-throat industry, and the relationships we have with family when there is long distance in-between.

This book will make you laugh from the first page and appreciate its refreshing creativity throughout. Bhasin explores Hector’s relationships in such a way that they are realistic and immensely relatable. The approach Bhasin takes to the challenges of mental health and the drive to improve oneself against all odds is also powerful.

Bhasin shows great insight into how the dreams of people moving to Hollywood can be shaped by those they meet – budding screenwriters may even find a few handy insider tips.

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