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March 2019 Non-Fiction: Biography & Autobiography

Good Talk
A Memoir in Conversations
By (author): Mira Jacob
9780399589041 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs Mar 26, 2019
$40.00 CAD
Active 6.3 x 8.31 x 1.39 in 368 pages 4-COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS THRU/OUT Random House One World
A bold, wry, and intimate graphic memoir about American identity, interracial family, and the realities that divide us, from the acclaimed author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing.

“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 country 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.

Story Locale: India; Albuqerque, NM; New York, NY

VIRAL BUZZFEED PIECE: The seed of this book is a piece on BuzzFeed entitled “37 Difficult Questions from My Mixed Race Son” ( which went viral within the hour, with 250K unique views. Jacob is now a regular BuzzFeed contributor.

GROWING AUTHOR PLATFORM: Jacob’s original pop art style is perfect for sharing via social media. Her stories about her family have been featured in Vogue and she has written a cover story for Glamour profiling Priyanka Chopra.

CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR: Jacob’s first novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, also published by Random House, was named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Bustle, and The Millions and received widespread praise from reviewers. “With wit and a rich understanding of human foibles, [Mira] Jacob unspools a story that will touch your heart.” —People; “[A] sprawling, poignant, often humorous novel that’s worth missing cocktails on the deck in order to finish a chapter.” —O: The Oprah Magazine

A BOOK FOR OUR TIMES: Jacob tackles hot-button issues such as race, colorism, and the 2016 presidential election with nerve and humor.

UNIQUE GRAPHIC STYLE: In the tradition of Marjane Satrapi, Roz Chast, and Alison Bechdel, Jacob uses her own illustrations to tell her story, creating a FULL-COLOR PACKAGE that’s as visually appealing as it is readable.

Mira Jacob is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, which was shortlisted for India’s Tata First Literature Award, honored by the Asian Pacific American Library Association, and named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Bustle, and The Millions. Her recent work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Vogue, Guernica, BuzzFeed, The Telegraph, Bookanista, and The Scofield. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY

Author Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Marketing: Pre-pub consumer outreach and review push

Online marketing outreach

Social media campaign

Targeted email marketing

Random House e-newsletters and websites

Library outreach

Academic outreach

Publicity: National media attention

National/local review and feature print attention

National/local radio attention

Online review and feature attention

NPR campaign

Local author promotion: New York

Social Media Campaign

Targeted blogger outreach

Author Website:

Author Social Media: TW:; FB:; IG:

“[I] loved it so so much. So poignant, honest, funny, powerful, and timely, and its themes build in a way that by the end is truly artistically transcendent.”—Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and Eligible

“Among its many virtues, Mira Jacob’s graphic memoir, Good Talk, helps us think through this term [‘person of color’] with grace and disarming wit. The book lives up to its title, and reading these searching, often hilarious tête-à-têtes is as effortless as eavesdropping on a crosstown bus…. The medium is part of the magic…. The old comic-book alchemy of words and pictures opens up new possibilities of feeling…. The people are black and white—except, of course, they’re not.”—Ed Park, The New York Times Book Review

Good Talk addresses head-on the complexities of being fully American while also being fully Jewish, fully Indian, fully mixed, fully whatever in the era of Trump…. Good Talk attempts to answer, with humor and heart, some of the most difficult questions of all.”Bustle

“[A] showstopping memoir about race in America…by turns funny, philosophical, cautious, and heartbreaking…Particularly moving are the chapters in which Jacob explores how even those close to her retain closed-minded and culturally defined prejudices…. The memoir works well visually, with striking pen-and-ink drawings…collaged onto vibrant found photographs and illustrated backgrounds…. Told with immense bravery and candor, this book will make readers hunger for more of Jacob’s wisdom and light.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Breezy but poignant…[Mira Jacob] employs pages of narrative prose sparingly but hauntingly…. The ‘talks’ Jacob relates are painful, often hilarious, and sometimes absurd, but her memoir makes a fierce case for continuing to have them.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A beautiful and eye-opening account of what it means to mother a brown boy and what it means to live in this country post–9/11, as a person of color, as a woman, as an artist… In Jacob’s brilliant hands, we are gifted with a narrative that is sometimes hysterically funny, always honest, and ultimately healing.”—Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award–winning author of Another Brooklyn

Good Talk begins with a child’s innocent questions about race and evolves into an honest, direct, and heartbreakingly funny journey. As a brown-skinned woman married to a Jewish man and the mother of a biracial child, I experienced this book on multiple levels: It broke my heart and made me laugh a helluva lot, but, in the end, it also forced me to ponder whether I have successfully provided the answers necessary to arm my own children against racism in America.”—Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of Sweat

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