Book Review: Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Looking for an interesting memoir that is hip and takes on the uncomfortable topic of race, particularly for those of us who are biracial?

Then, let me recommend Good Talk A Memoir in Conversation. I heard the author, Mira Jacob, discuss this book on NPR earlier this fall and I knew I had to read it. If you are interested in hearing an interview with Mira Jacob via PBS. To my surprise, it is a graphic memoir.

Don’t let this format fool you, though. this book takes on the tough topic of racial identity, especially for those of us who identify as biracial. The author was inspired by her son, who started asking many questions after he got into Michael Jackson after his parents, the author being one of them, gave him all the Michael Jackson albums to listen to. Out of curiosity, her son starts asking about Michael Jackson and if he is black or white or both? And, whatever the answer his parents came up with, they knew their answer was going to have a profound influence on him.

As usual, the issue of color often comes out in our daily activities, such as the music we share and listen to each day.

The author was asked during her NPR interview about the faces she had drawn on the characters’ throughout her memoir. There was the comment that the people in her graphic memoir do not appear to be sad over the experiences she is drawing our attention to. This was a deliberate choice on her part to allow the reader to carry their feelings and not have the characters do more of the “feelings work” for the reader. Aha! This is a hard-hitting book!

For my part, this is a thought-provoking book about one’s own racial identity. Her message across these many conversations is delivered in an interesting medium that seeks to get at truths, universal ones experienced intimately by this author and her family, in an interesting, culturally relevant way.

I would love to hear if you have any books on racial identity that you would suggest I read.