Hi, it’s been a while 😦 I’m still getting used to this whole blog thing but I aim to post more frequently, starting now!
The library on campus opened a few weeks ago, so I strolled over one lunch break to browse the New Books section. I grabbed two, one that I’d heard of: Front Row at the Trump Show (Jonathan Karl’s memoir about his time as a White House correspondent during the Trump administration), and Good Talk, a memoir in graphic novel form that was totally new to me. Coincidentally, it’s also about the Trump years, hmm.
Even though it was on the new book shelf, Good Talk was published in 2018. Author Mira Jacob took the novel approach of telling the story of her life in snippets of conversations. The central, ongoing conversation revolves around questions her young son asks during the rise of / era of Trump. As the son of a Jewish father and a mother with parents from India, he was starting to pick up on media messages about ‘brown’ people and asking questions that his parents couldn’t answer.
After reading her memoir, I definitely want more of Mira Jacob’s writing, whatever the subject. She’s smart and thoughtful and a great storyteller.
Things I liked about this book:
- Her deadpan sense of humor. It’s everywhere, even in the heaviest moments. I laughed out loud at all her “What.” reactions which are peppered throughout. It was like an inside joke inside a book, and I loved it. I could hear the different inflections in my head as she reacts to things in disbelief, frustration, anger, surprise, all with a single word.
- The artistic style is different from any other graphic novel I’ve read. Some of the drawings are flat or two-dimensional and some of the images are repeated. But that’s not a dis, one of the drawings she uses again and again is of her son, and it’s so cute and charming and perfectly embodies his personality.
- The timeliness. This surprised and saddened me. Even though it was written two years ago, when the Michael Brown / Ferguson case comes up in the book, it’s easy to bridge to George Floyd and everything that’s happened since May.
- The way it gets the reader to reflect. This memoir is like a mirror, the reader will see themselves in different characters or situations. I had quite a few of those moments.
I picked this book up cold – just based on the bright red cover and title, a peek at the blurbs on the back, and a quick flip through. I’m happy I tried it and suggest you do the same!