Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations

by Mira Jacob

Hardcover, 2019





One World (2019), 368 pages


"Snippets of dialogue between Jacob...and her family and friends form the basis of this breezy but poignant graphic memoir that takes on racism, love, and the election of President Trump."--

User reviews

LibraryThing member detailmuse
In this memoir, Mira Jacob explores her life and her awakening to the realities of being a person of color in the United States, alternating with her attempts to guide her mixed-race young son amid those same realities. The format is a series of several dozen conversations (“talks”), presented as comix with paperdoll-like characters over evocative photographic backgrounds of the relevant setting (various homes, big-city streets, outdoors).

I laughed out loud, I teared up. I felt turn-the-page suspense, discouragement, and the slightest hint of optimism. The book is readable in one sitting, but it’s not light material as Jacob develops the issues and powerfully immerses the reader in her experience. GOOD TALK is a very good book, and it’s an important book.
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LibraryThing member Hccpsk
Good Talk by Mira Jacobs is a really interesting and well-done graphic novel memoir. Jacobs uses the graphic format to its fullest as she recounts her life from her parents’ arranged marriage up through the Trump election. Interspersed throughout are conversations with her son about race, Michael Jackson, Donald Trump and knock-knock jokes among other things. Jacobs finds the humor in most of it and that really shines through making Good Talk a thoroughly enjoyable book. Highly recommended to graphic novels readers looking for something different or a great intro into the genre for others.… (more)
LibraryThing member StefanieGeeks
There is so much to love about this memoir. Mira Jacob is of East Indian descent, raised in New Mexico, and has adopted New York as her home together with her Jewish husband. They have a young son who asks a lot of hilarious and perceptive questions, loving parents who can't relate, and a slew of other fascinating eclectic friends and family. Jacob has a beautiful way of connecting the audience to her personal stories. The graphics in the book are a perfect combination of black and white pencil comics and photographic backgrounds. This would be a great book club pick.… (more)
LibraryThing member villemezbrown
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 draws most characters once, though some are drawn two or three times if they need to be children and adults in the narrative, then she just copies and pastes the same character images over and over in front of a different stock photo background and puts lots of word balloons over everything. The word balloons are great, mind you, but we are left with major emotional moments occurring in those balloons and faces that refuse to break from their neutral expressions. We have conversations between two characters that both stare directly out at the reader instead of making eye contact with each other. We're talking a half dozen or more pages in a row, again and again, with the same exact character images staring out at us as the background picture changes. OMG!

When Scott Meyer does this in his Basic Instruction cartoons, he does it to humorous effect, mocking himself. When Brian Michael Bendis does it in his superhero books, fans tend to groan and do the mocking for him. Here, it nearly ruins the book, as I constantly burst into laughter at the ridiculous contrast between word and image.

Still, the words are good enough that I like the book despite the illustrations.
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Original language


Physical description

368 p.; 6.3 inches


039958904X / 9780399589041


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