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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  20,117 ratings  ·  3,184 reviews
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 into the difficult conversations about race, sex, love, and family that seem to be unavoidable these days.

Inspired by her popular BuzzFeed piece "37 Difficul
Hardcover, 349 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by One World
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Amy I purchased thinking my sister could read with her 12-year old adoptive son and they could use it as a jumping off point for race discussions. It's no…moreI purchased thinking my sister could read with her 12-year old adoptive son and they could use it as a jumping off point for race discussions. It's not that, and her family is conservative enough that the author's sex life would be a no-go. But I do think it is one in which themes of identity and prejudice (including from POC) is really well discussed and for a family comfortable with discussions of sexuality, this would be a good tween-age book.
It's also amazing at showing how well-intentioned people who love each other can still cause a lot of hurt when they refuse to hear & empathize with your experience.(less)

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Average rating 4.49  · 
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 ·  20,117 ratings  ·  3,184 reviews

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Emily May
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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 ½ 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? Th
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. ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversation by Mira Jacobs is a 2019 One World publication.

Thought provoking, humorous, deeply revealing, and heart wrenching

A new- found interest in graphic novels led me to this book originally. When I started reading this book, I had no idea I was about to have my emotions put through the wringer. Despite the raw feelings exposed in this novel, I can’t stress how important I think the book is. All Americans should give this book a try, because so many people are too
Elyse  Walters
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
Dave Schaafsma
“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 ...more
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.
Book Riot Community
If I had to pick one book that most honestly describes the reality of living in Trump’s America, it would be this one. In this gorgeous graphic memoir, Mira Jacob, an Indian American and the child of immigrants, relates the many hard conversations she has with her young biracial son before, during, and after Trump’s election. Woven throughout are stories of growing up, coming of age, and becoming a parent as a woman of color. Layered, funny, heartbreaking, full of urgency, anger, and hope, it’s ...more
I would like to start this review by saying that every once in a while I find a book that is completely not for me. I think that this book falls in that category. So keep in mind that this review is coming from someone that couldn't really connect to the story all that much.

Good Talk graphic novel version of conversations the author had as a child all the way through 2016. The conversations mainly deal with how race reflects relationships and how society views them. The setting is 100% big city.
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
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Larry H
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Packing an emotional, powerful punch, Mira Jacob's Good Talk is a great read!!

The book is subtitled A Memoir in Conversations , and that’s exactly what it is. It recounts conversations that the author had at different points in her life with her husband, family, friends, her young son, people she dated, even strangers, about race, identity, prejudice, racism, and love.

Most of the conversations with her son occur in the lead-up to the 2016 election, as she tries to help an eight-year-old
Sep 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My only regret about Good Talk is that I waited so long to read it. I’ve heard great things about the book since it came out in 2018 — It’s relevant, for better or worse, and has a welcome dose of humor throughout the book.

Good Talk is a memoir in conversations and a graphic novel. Many of Mira’s conversations are with her son, Z, who is 6 years old in the opening of the book. He’s learning about the world, about race — his mom is Indian and his dad is white — and about his white grandparents w
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I wasn't really sure what to expect with this one but I ended up liking it a lot. GOOD TALK is a graphic novel memoir told in conversations. The art is static, set against photographs or hyper-realistic drawings, and at first this kind of felt lazy to me and I wasn't sure I liked this style, but I realized it was probably so the art wouldn't be a distraction from the text panels since that was the important stuff. The conversations are
Traci Thomas
May 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So good. The balance of vulnerability and humor in this one is spot on. The aesthetic is so cool. The story is so spot on for the feelings of 2016 and the fear of Trumpism and all the anxiety of that election for folks who aren’t white. Mira Jacob is a master of tone and style.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jenny Lawson
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good. Read it and immediately gave it to my daughter to read.
Feb 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poc-author
I knew I would like this book, I just was not ready for it to emotionally wreck me.

Watch my review for more thoughts: https://youtu.be/c2iFCCBsHAo
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this graphic novelization of snippets of the author's life, told through both drawings and photos combined into a unique, yet still comic book, style. The content of the conversations, mainly regarding race/politics/gender/sex/family, is something we can all benefit from 'listening' to. Recommended. ...more
luce ❀ wishfully reading ❀
blogthestorygraphletterboxd tumblrko-fi

Mira Jacob's Good Talk is a small gem of a memoir. Jacob combines different media to discuss a number of issues and topics. Jacob transports to the page the difficult conversations she’s had with her son about race, while also recounting her own experiences growing up as a first-generation Indian-American.

Much of Good Talk takes place against the 2016 election, which doesn’t necessarily make for easy or enjoyable reading material, especial
Lori Gottlieb
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites
Jacobs intimately invites the reader into her life and family with this wonderful book. I often don't know where to rest my eyes with graphic novels/memoirs but that is not a problem here. The book has just one or two colorful illustrations per page. Jacobs guides the reader through difficult issues - race, parenting, division within families, the current political landscape. Funny and urgent and powerful. Read it! ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I've had this book on my TBR forever and finally got it from the library. I didn't really even know what it was about and went in cold. Mira Jacob writes about what it is like to be brown (for her, Indian with darker skin than her other family members) in the America post 9/11 up through Trump's election win. Not only that but married to a Jewish (white) man whose parents refuse to see the harm in voting for Trump, and mother of a young mixed race boy with Questions.

What I love is her very frank
Dov Zeller
It's been so long since I've written a GR review. I just kind of got out of the habit (it can take such effort--it's a lot of work to review books. And for a time my GR wasn't loading on my computer and I fell out of the habit of being on here, and I never really got back into the habit of reading and writing reviews as I once did. Perhaps that will shift. In any case...I really wanted to say a few words about this book.)

Good Talk is brilliant and beautiful and messy and captivating and heart-br
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.
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
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Carmel Hanes
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
True confession: I have never before read a graphic novel. I didn't even know what one was until about three years ago. I never thought I'd want to read one. Then came a reading challenge where a graphic novel was required. Sigh.


This was a delightful thing to read. Despite the fact it, again, discusses the ongoing racism, white privilege and discrimination churning in the underbelly of our culture. It takes us through the experience of a woman of color and the challenges she fac
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
These were ubiquitous in my internet timeline, early comics appearing in Buzzfeed relating Mira Jacob's son's early obsession with Michael Jackson. It's in that low-fi, consumable, internet meme visual style that's immediately recognizable and dying to be shared. Jacob's paper cutouts look out at the reader in a stunned, apathetically imploring, semi-ironic way that immediately speaks to my tiny GenX heart. There was no way I wasn't going to eventually snatch this one up.

It's heartfelt, wry and
Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Olive by: Jill S
Shelves: graphic-nov, memoir
I received this book in a book exchange - you can hear my thoughts in a Booktube video! ...more
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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, Vog

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