Jacob, Mira – Good Talk


Good Talk

Hey, who wants another debate about what exactly makes a book into a comic? Nobody? Yeah, me neither, but since this is mostly a collection of still drawings over real backgrounds, I’m sure somebody has brought it up by now. So instead let’s just call it a book and talk about how incredible it is, OK? This is, as it says right there on the cover, a memoir in conversations. Mira is an Indian who was born in America, which becomes relevant quickly or I wouldn’t mention it, and since this is the America of 2020 at the moment, there are entirely too many assholes out there who are concerned with such things. Stories in here include her parents’ arranged marriage (how it came about, how they both always championed it as a concept despite their not being in love, and how for a while there they hoped for something similar for Mira), how Mira was seen differently in her own family because her skin was the darkest of the bunch, her adventures in dating while constantly worrying about whether or not she was thought of as a fetish object, and her reactions to the 9/11 attacks while living in Brooklyn. And yes, the realization that anybody with brownish skin would have a tough time of it afterwards hit her very quickly. The most powerful story that runs throughout the book is her conversations with her son (around 6 when they started) and how that all paralleled with the rise of that dickhead in the White House. It’s a horror story where we all know the ending, and she naturally made promises to her son that the country wasn’t awful enough to elect the man. Whoops! She also married a white Jewish man along the way, meaning their kid was mixed race, meaning the news that her white stepparents supported the racist was devastating to her and to her whole family. This was a conversation that played out thousands of times over the course of the campaign, but it doesn’t make it any less depressing to see again. They knew he said racist things, of course, but they didn’t think he meant it. And besides, that Hilary woman sure was awful, wasn’t she? Mira tried repeatedly to convey the pain they were putting them through, their son tried to convey the damage it was doing to their connection (which was very strong up until then; Mira had started called her stepmother “Mom” pretty much right away), even talking about how it was affecting their son didn’t change their minds. The book ends on a hopeful (ish) note, as they’re all on a flight in early 2017 to go visit the stepparents, with Mira unsure what to expect and all of them a little nervous about it. I’m obviously curious about what happened next, but that’s left to the imagination. Maybe they came around? Maybe they’re still making excuses for the racism even today, as so many are? Regardless, this book is chock full of fascinating stories (I’m only mentioning maybe half of them, this book is hefty), and very much worth checking out. $30

Posted on February 3, 2020, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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