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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  2,195 ratings  ·  439 reviews
A witty, heartfelt graphic memoir about what it truly means to be an American family--Aziz Ansari's Master of None meets Alison Bechdel's Fun Home

Mira Jacob's touching, often humorous, and utterly unique graphic memoir takes readers on her journey as a first-generation American. At an increasingly fraught time for immigrants and their families, Good Talk delves i
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Hardcover, 349 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by One World
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Julie Depends on the reader; there is a full frontal nude image of one of the characters in the book.

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4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,195 ratings  ·  439 reviews


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Emily May
“I'm supposed to be thankful for everything. Thank you for publishing me! Thank you for asking me to attend an event! Thank you for thanking me for writing characters you could relate to despite them being Indian! Thank you for saying you almost felt like they were just normal people!”

4 stars. Mira Jacob has done such an amazing job with this graphic memoir that it's hard to know what to praise first. The meditation on interracial families and racism in America? The mixed media artwork? The w
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Elyse Walters
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update... I'm back!! (2nd read).....physical book this time.
I can't say enough about this book!!!! After I listened to the Audiobook -- which I thought was BRILLIANT.... I ended up buying the physical -'graphic' book last week too.
Its AMAZING!!!!!
Mira Jacob outdid herself -A TRIPLE THREAT author, graphic artist, speaker: the storytelling of this MEMOIR, the graphics, READING her book -
I met Mira at a reading in Austin years ago (liked her very much) --read her first novel, "The Sleepwalker's Gu
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Celeste Ng
GOOD TALK isn’t just Mira Jacobs's personal story: it also illuminates the increasingly fractured world we live in. By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it plunges fearlessly into the murky gray areas of race and family, of struggling to find common ground, of trying to talk to our children and help them make sense of it all. It's exactly the book America needs at this moment.
Dianne
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2019
I loved this graphic novel! It’s the author’s story of growing up as a person of color in the United States, with a special focus on raising her young son in a post 9-11 New York City. Her son has a lot of questions about race and her best attempts to answer them honestly are poignant.

Jacob uses an unusual visual format for her stories. She draws simple black and white portraits of herself and the main characters at certain ages and reuses those portraits repeatedly as dialogue occurs over the y
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etherealfire
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gutted. My heart breaks for our country and its completely unnecessary, self-inflicted wounds. My heart breaks for the damage we are doing to ourselves and each other. This is a must-read.
Julie Ehlers
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Ever since I read Mira Jacob's 2015 Buzzfeed article about her son's obsession with Michael Jackson and the questions it raised (and subsequently began following her excellent Instagram account, @goodtalkthanks), I have been desperate to read Good Talk. I waited impatiently for the book to (finally!) be released, for my library to obtain a copy, for the copy to make it to my branch. When it (finally!) arrived just in time for my staycation, I was ECSTATIC. My expectations couldn't have been high ...more
Jill
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First a confession: from the advance blurb (“Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?” “Are white people afraid of brown people?”), my expectations for this book weren’t high. I suspected it might be another one of those feel-good, politically-correct books. But I loved Mira Jacob’s first novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, and on a whim, I decided to take a chance.

And – wow! This is the real deal, raw, wrenching, funny, fearless, and honest. Mira Jacob is an American of Indian descent, marri
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Sahitya
I just stumbled upon this book on Twitter when the author Mira shared a couple of illustrations from the graphic novel about Indian aunties and I couldn’t stop laughing and I decided that I had to read it. However, I ended up not finding the graphic novel at my library and had to listen to the audiobook which turned out to be totally unexpected and wonderful in its own way.

This memoir is completely heartfelt, witty and hilarious while tackling very complex issues surrounding race in the America
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Jessica Woodbury
It is amazing to me how much Jacob fits into this book, how much it manages to contain, and how much it says not just about Jacob herself but about the present moment we live in. This is not just a book about raising a precocious biracial child in a world that treats his two parents very differently, that is just an entry point for Jacob to examine all the different parts of her life where these difficult issues have come up.

The parental anxiety factor here is high and I felt it really deeply.
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Kasa Cotugno
Of all the books dealing with the effects of the ascension of Donald Trump upon the American people, this one has been the most personal. In this beautifully realized graphic memoir, Mira Jacob tells her story of growing up as a first generation Indian, of her marriage to Jed, a Jewish man, and her attempts to answer some of the questions posed by their perceptive son from the age of six, questions about skin color and the ramifications of different hues. But all this is background, leading to t ...more
Vanessa
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this graphic novel as much as I did. But boy did this book pack an unexpected punch! Written in conversation style, it’s a completely unique and interesting perspective on race and immigration during this current crazy political climate and the difficult questions that only a young kid knows how to ask. It makes you mad that these conversations are even necessary! But I enjoyed the interactions between Mira and her son. There is humour in between the seriousness of th ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We don’t know what life has in store for us till it flings itself in our faces. Then we know. Then we truly begin to see as it unfolds itself. Mira Jacob’s Good Talk is not just a memoir. It isn’t just a conversation. It is so much more that as I sit and type this, I literally have gooseflesh.

It is a book about identity, about interracial marriage, about when do we know we are citizens of a country? Is there a certificate that gets handed out? We are constantly seeking validation about ourselve
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Skip
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kudos to Mira Jacob for providing a light-hearted, but thoughtful and thought-provoking look at our currently fractured nation. Presented as a graphic memoir, she touches on many important societal issues, including family, love, marriage, religion, racism and racial tropes, politics, immigration, and more. She writes from personal experience, being US-born woman, whose parents immigrated from India, who marries a white Jewish man, and is raising an inquisitive son, Jacob. Many of the chapters a ...more
Bruce Katz
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
All the good things people are saying about this book are true. It's smart, eye-opening, provocative, funny, touching, courageous, heartbreakingly honest, and damned necessary... You know that line in Hamlet about how it is the role of art to 'hold a mirror up to nature'? Yeah,"Good Talk" does precisely that. The seemingly bare-bones format of dialogue balloons placed on simple illustrations gives the book an immediacy and power that more traditional approaches would have neutered. Jacob takes a ...more
Jill Meyer
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mira Jacob has really written - and drawn - a memoir for our times. Jacob, the author of a marvelous novel, "The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing", published in 2014, has written "Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations", a graphic work using text, drawings, and photographs to try to distill some of the angst in our society brought on by the election of Donald Trump in 2016. But the angst that Jacob felt for her and her young son actually began years before as the American-born daughter of Indian imm ...more
Sara
****MUST READ****

Graphic novel memoir about being brown in Trump's America....and just always America. True, funny, painful, excellent, and innovative photo/art/text images.
Kate ☀️ Olson
Stunning. That’s all.
Kristina
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I can’t protect you from everything. I can’t protect you from being a brown man in America. I can’t protect you from spending a lifetime caught between the beautiful dream of a diverse nation and the complicated reality of one. I can’t even protect you from the simple fact that sometimes, the people who love us will choose a world that doesn’t.”

This graphic novel I purchased for my library is so spectacularly special, I loved it!! If this isn’t listed as one of the best graphic novels by the e
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Basic B's Guide
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you @randomhouse for a free copy of GOOD TALK by Mira Jacob.

When I originally heard about GOOD TALK, I thought immediately that this is a book I NEED to read. A graphic memoir in conversations with a six-year old? Wow! I had never heard of such a thing. Having found out that Jacob’s both illustrated and wrote this graphic novel my gut said take a chance and I’m so incredibly grateful that I did.

This memoir of conversations covers race, family, immigration, political climate in the U.S. and
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Doug
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't read many graphic novels - the format just doesn't quite appeal to me - so this might be my ONLY one for 2019... but that's ok, because it would probably be my favorite one anyway! I adored Jacob's first novel (The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing) and in my review of that I stated I hoped it wouldn't be another ten years before her next book (since it had taken her that long to write her first).

I'm glad it only took five, and this comes at JUST the right time, since it deals largely with
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Elizabeth A
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being of person of color in America is not easy. Oh, sure, it's easier in many ways than it's ever been, but it's not easy. Being a biracial/multiracial kid makes things even more complicated.

This graphic memoir doesn't read like a a usual comic. The subtitle: A Memoir in Conversations is apt, and the lives of these people unfold via conversations. The author is of South Asian descent, has a biracial kid, and lives in the US. This memoir tackles the complexities of immigrant families, sexuality,
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Kelly
One of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a long time -- I didn't even know this was a graphic memoir, since I went straight to audio for it, and I missed out on nothing by choosing that format over the print one. Performed by a full-cast, it was very much a series of conversations about race and growing up in the margins of America.

When Mira's son asked about being mixed race, it spurs a series of memoirs for Mira about growing up Indian-American and all of the macro and micro aggressions
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Lori Gottlieb
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One perk of writing a book is that you get to meet other authors while on tour. I had the pleasure of doing a reading with Mira Jacobs at The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. I'd heard of her book but hadn't yet read it, and after she shared it with the audience (projecting the illustrations and reading the text), I immediately bought a copy (and--again, perk!--got it signed). I was blown away by how inventive and brilliant this memoir is. I've never read anything quite like it. It's heartbreakin ...more
Christine
Love love loved this
Andrea
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
THIS!!!

THIS is what you should read next. Nope. THIS is what you should listen to next. Audio production was phenomenal.

THIS is just the 3rd book of the year that I’ve awarded 5 full stars. Because I’m stingy and save those precious stars for only the exceptional ones that make my mind and heart bounce in all directions.

THIS is likely the book “America needs right now.” Because we really do need to hear Mira to understand a reality and point of view we’ve likely never personally experienced.

I
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Rod Brown
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
There is a lot of touching and insightful comments in here about race, families, September 11, and the elections of Donald Trump and Barack Obama. If the author had chosen to make this entirely prose or had had another artist draw it, I would probably have given it four stars. But instead, she chose to illustrate it herself in an extremely unfortunate and distracting style.

Effectively, she has made the book version of a YouTube video starring paper doll puppets on ice cream sticks. She literally
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Lauren
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Told with humor and a blunt honesty I love, Mira Jacob’s graphic memoir is really a memoir in two parts: Part one is Mira growing up in New Mexico in the 80’s and 90’s, wrestling with her own questions and experiences regarding race, sexuality, and love. Part two focuses on our country in its current political climate as her son begins to question everything from Michael Jackson’s changing skin color to why Trump would be angry at him for being brown.

Very serious topics, but everything Mira Jac
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Emily
What a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking perfect book this is. Conversations with her six-year-old son about race in America, spurred by the 2016 election, frame flashbacks to Jacob's childhood and early adulthood. The dialogue is especially great - the voices of her son, her husband, her parents, and her in-laws shine.
Abby Johnson
Once I picked this book up, I absolutely could not put it down - a one-sitting read (or as close as I get to it, anyway). Mira Jacob starts the book with a conversation with her biracial 6-year-old son who is starting to get obsessed with Michael Jackson and has a lot of questions about the color of his skin. Conversations with her young son about race and racism and Trump and immigrants and hate and violence are all interspersed with Mira's experiences growing up as a child of East Indian immig ...more
Jonathan Tennis
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those rare times on Goodreads where I wish there were more than 5-stars for incredible books. This powerful memoir told in conversations between the author and her family/friends about what it’s like to be brown in America in modern times. Brave, funny, witty, brutally honest. This book was so good to read and I’m glad it was written. Pick up a copy and see for yourself.

From pg. 83 is this exchange between the author and her son.
“There are no brown superheroes. Really? Still?” –
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I am the author and illustrator of Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations. My first novel, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers pick, shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, and longlisted for the Brooklyn Literary Eagles Prize.

My writing and drawings have appeared in The New York Times, Electric Literature, Tin House, Literary Hub, Guernica,
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“There's a particular kind of close you get when you find someone you can trust in a space you don't.” 4 likes
“I'm supposed to be thankful for everything. Thank you for publishing me! Thank you for asking me to attend an event! Thank you for thanking me for writing characters you could relate to despite them being Indian! Thank you for saying you almost felt like they were just normal people! [...] Thank you for telling me you wish you had been brave enough to date the Indian girls in high school! Thank you for asking me about whether or not you should take a vacation to India! Thank you for telling me that your Indian neighbor makes your hallway smell like curry! Thank you for apologizing for hating curry, like I am curry's mother!” 3 likes
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