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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

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4.51  ·  Rating details ·  10,716 ratings  ·  1,805 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
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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 4.51  · 
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 ·  10,716 ratings  ·  1,805 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
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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.
Julie ( On semi-hiatus until September)
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
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Elyse  Walters
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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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David 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
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
Matthew
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.
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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
Dianne
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
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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
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Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ 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
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Jill
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
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Vanessa
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
Sahitya
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
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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
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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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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.

Wait--surprise!

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
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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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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
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
Iris P
This is a heartfelt, funny and earnest memoir about the daughter of Indian immigrants to the US and her struggle to assimilate into her adopted country.

With a superb group of narrators, this short audiobook touches on issues of race, religion and ultimately the current political climate in America and how it's affecting, and unfortunately dividing, many families.

At some point, I would love to read the graphic novel too and I can see this being made into an interesting Netflix series!

Elyse, than
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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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Carol (Bookaria)
Daring, original, funny, and charming. I loved this graphic memoir which depicts conversations between the author and her six-year old son as well as interactions with her family while she was growing up. 

It explores the subjects of identity, colorism between the same ethnic group, racism, family, and politics in a relatable and humorous way.

This book was a treat, I loved it and highly, VERY highly recommend it. 
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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Elizabeth A
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
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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Claire
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Good Talk is everything I want from a graphic novel, and a memoir. If neither of these forms are typically for you, make this the exception to your reading rules. Jacob’s memoir is conversational in all the right ways. It is equal parts funny and serious; a story that captures the voices and worlds of generations of different people living in these uncertain times. Although incredibly personal, Good Talk is also a story about America, and indeed the wider world, in this moment in time. A story o ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
Stunning. That’s all.
Moonkiszt
Absolutely fantastic! This was a listen for me while I sewed masks.

Mira just starts in and in short bites talks about her life. . .she jumps around but it is easy to stay with her and do the inevitable comparison (my life with yours). Her family vignettes are relatable and down to earth. She pulls no punches. I loved this. Mira's got wisdom and info on today's hot topic of otherness, since she is a brown woman, American, born of Indian (East Indian, not Asian Indian!) parents. She is frank and o
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Fareya
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brutally honest and thought provoking, deeply poignant yet surprisingly humorous, Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob is one of the best books I’ve read this year and it has found its way into my list of favorites. In case you need a little background, Mira Jacob is an American, her parents are Indian immigrants, she married a Jewish man and they have a mixed race son Zakir, here referred to as Z. This is her memoir.

Good Talk is exactly what the title claims, that is, good rather
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Play Book Tag: [poll ballot] Good Talk | Mira Jacob | 4 stars 5 13 Feb 04, 2020 04:38AM  
Is this appropriate for a HS library? 4 16 Dec 30, 2019 10:55AM  

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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
...more

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