A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial families, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.
“By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it’s exactly the book America needs at this moment.”—Celeste Ng
“Who taught Michael Jackson to dance?”
“Is that how people really walk on the moon?”
“Is it bad to be brown?”
“Are white people afraid of brown people?”
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.
“How brown is too brown?”
“Can Indians be racist?”
“What does real love between really different people look like?”
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.
Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC copy of the book by Bloomsbury India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
A beautiful, emotive graphical memoir + conversations between a mother and son on topics that are relatable to everyone in the current scenario.
We open the book to a conversation between Mira and her son, 6 year old Z talking about his Michael Jackson; his current obsession. Innocent conversations between a mother and son; soon turn into some difficult conversations about color of their skin; belongingness, ethnicity and at heart of it, the feeling of betrayal that both Mira and Z go through when they realize that their own family doesn’t understand their anxiousness over Donald Trump’s policies.
Interspaced between this conversations; is also Mira’s experience of growing up in America; first generation American Indian – the struggle of not fully fitting in either of the cultures; of understanding how the color of her skin mattered to; not only her family but extended family in India as well. Later, this evolved into her issues with her dating life; wherein she was seen more of an exotic creature rather than someone independent of her skin and nationality; the career struggle that came with the need to make it as writer. And finally; her role as a wife of white jew; and a mother of a mixed race son.
Good Talk is an easy, fast read but it’s impact is far reaching – not only is it relevant to current times; for most of us; we can find slivers of ourselves in those conversations between Mira and Z; in the anxiousness of being a mother in today’s tension filled times as well the strain of trying to understand how to live with love and peace in the era of hate and grief.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .25