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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations (2018)

de Mira Jacob

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6705233,967 (4.47)107
"Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob's half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she's gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation--and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions" --… (mais)
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I was skeptical of the illustration style but I came around to finding it profound - no change in facial expressions during fraught conversations implies things about how we see ourselves and who we are more holistically, maybe? And the way faces get reused - one I noticed especially was the upper east side "author" whose face gets reused a few times for bit characters, including an older white woman who asks weird questions at a book signing. Something about the way we play bit parts in other people's lives and remind them of someone else, and also the universality and specificity of human experiences. ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
I read the original Buzzfeed piece that inspired this a while back, and I'm very glad to find the longer, graphic novel memoir is just as good.

As someone who also was the only one of X background growing up in a western town, and who will have mixed race kids I found this really resonant. The art style is sparse, but that draws more attention to the dialogue/text between Mira and the people in her life. Colorism in both the Indian community and America's perception of who is 'really from here' are a repeating motif (that unfortunately just... always exists IRL).

This is also going to be one of those books I recommend to white folks who might not've had the realization that their experience isn't the universal one and that for some Americans, getting questioned about the spaces we occupy is a 'normal' occurrence, or that very unsatisfactory yet unsurprising "I told you so" re: the dread from election night 2016's results. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 28, 2023 |
Such an amazing book and perspective. I was so pleasantly surprised reading this book. Jacob was so skillful at weaving such complex yet commonplace issues into art. Must read; best read; classic read. ( )
  Readings.of.a.Slinky | Nov 20, 2023 |
Listening to Jacob speak about what it's like to do something you don't know how to do, that no one has asked you to do, and that some people don't even what you to do—I had to get a copy of this book.

Jacob unfolds her memoir in the style of a graphic novel that she illustrated herself. The work is by turns brilliant, surprising, funny, cringe-y, heart-rending and always oh so honest. The folds of the story shift from Jacob's adult-parent-professional self to her child, adolescent, and then young adult self as she deftly conjures emotions, people, and experiences with short dialog-rich tableaus from her life.

As a reader I became an intimate witness to how it feels for this writer, an american-born South-Asian woman, to move through US culture before the Obama years, during that time and into what followed.

Highly recommend. ( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
I don't' find the format of comic (if that is what this was, or maybe I have missed the point) to be great for this work. For me it would have worked much better just in prose form. ( )
  izzy_my | Dec 11, 2022 |
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The trouble began when my 6-year-old son, Z, became obsessed with Michael Jackson.
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"Like many six-year-olds, Mira Jacob's half-Jewish, half-Indian son, Z, has questions about everything. At first they are innocuous enough, but as tensions from the 2016 election spread from the media into his own family, they become much, much more complicated. Trying to answer him honestly, Mira has to think back to where she's gotten her own answers: her most formative conversations about race, color, sexuality, and, of course, love. Written with humor and vulnerability, this deeply relatable graphic memoir is a love letter to the art of conversation--and to the hope that hovers in our most difficult questions" --

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