Book reviews

Book Recommendation: Good Talks by Mira Jacob

Title- Good Talks
Author- Mira Jacob
Publisher- Bloomsbury India
Format- Hardcover
Pages- 368
Genre- Memoir
Publication date- 18 April 2019

Book blurb:

‘By turns hilarious and heart-rending. Plunges fearlessly into the murky grey areas of race and family, of struggling to find common ground, of trying to talk to our children and help them make sense of it all’ Celeste Ng

‘Does Donald Trump hate Muslims?’
‘Is that how people really walk on the moon?’
‘Is it bad to be brown?’
‘Are white people afraid of brown people?’

Inspired by her viral BuzzFeed piece ’37 Difficult Questions from My Mixed-Raced Son’, Mira Jacob responds to: her six-year-old, Zakir, who asks if the new president hates brown boys like him; uncomfortable relationship advice from her parents, who came to the United States from India one month into their arranged marriage; and increasingly fraught exchanges with her Trump-supporting in-laws. Jacob also investigates her own past, including how it felt to be a brown-skinned New Yorker on 9/11. As earnest and moving as they are laugh-out-loud funny, these are the stories that have shaped one life, but will resonate with many others.

Book review:

“Good Talks” by Mira Jacob is a magnificent book where the author has addressed a myriad of issues of dogmatic society.

It started with the conversations with her son Z when he started asking obsessive questions about his favourite Michael Jackson. Initially, some basic; the colour of his skins, his walks, the looks of his hairs but eventually the questions became more intricate and serious concerning the racial differences among the Americans, the hate they give to the people with different skin colour than theirs and why people dislike Donald Trump.

Every time Z asked Mira a question, she would remember all the times she has asked similar questions growing up.

Mira has also shared about her own childhood. From a very early age, she was ceaselessly mortified for being brown. Her own people in her hometown had issues regarding her skin colour.

The book is about the various arduous attempt of explaining a 6-year old that being different in the skin colour does not affect the love between the family and it is okay if his mother is brown and if his father is white.

A mother’s perplexities to answer his son honestly without veiling the complexities of social norms, insecurities of a girl with brown skin and accepting the fact that beauty doesn’t imply the colour of the skin and fears of living in a country where a person is needed to put forward the testimony of being a citizen.

Jacob through this book has said out loud that though crucial but it is eminently important to talk about these topics and reach out to the good parts.

Humourous, a treat to eyes with stunning graphics and a book infused with lots of vehemence. This book is all about her experiences and phases of her own enlightenment and in consequence that it would be inappropriate to rate a memoir where the author has poured her heart out.

I can’t recommend this gem enough, read it to comprehend some serious issues of societies conferring racism, interracial marriages and many more.

Link to the book

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