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Works by Mira Jacob

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Common Knowledge

New Mexico, USA
Places of residence
Brooklyn, New York, USA
New School for Social Research



A graphic novel in which Jacob illustrates her "coming of age," and her struggles as an Indian-American. Then, as a mother, she deals with her son as he figures out what being bi-racial is about.
mojomomma | 52 other reviews | Apr 23, 2024 |
I was skeptical of the illustration style but I came around to finding it profound - no change in facial expressions during fraught conversations implies things about how we see ourselves and who we are more holistically, maybe? And the way faces get reused - one I noticed especially was the upper east side "author" whose face gets reused a few times for bit characters, including an older white woman who asks weird questions at a book signing. Something about the way we play bit parts in other people's lives and remind them of someone else, and also the universality and specificity of human experiences.… (more)
caedocyon | 52 other reviews | Feb 23, 2024 |
Very good debut. KIRKUS REVIEWJacob?s darkly comic debut•about a photographer?s visit to her parents? New Mexico home during a family crisis√ā¬•is grounded in the specifics of the middle-class Indian immigrant experience while uncovering the universality of family dysfunction and endurance.Amina Eapen was born in New Mexico, but her older brother, Akhil, was born in India before the family moved to America. Amina and Akhil chafed against their parents? evident unhappiness√ā¬•their mother, Kamala, clung to impossible dreams of returning to India; their father, Thomas, disappeared into his medical practice√ā¬•while also enjoying the extended Christian Indian community to which the Eapens have always belonged. Now in her mid-30s and unmarried, Amina is working as a wedding photographer in Seattle, having dropped her career in photojournalism after a picture she took of a suicide went viral. Then Kamala, who has become a Baptist, manipulates Amina into a visit by claiming Thomas is acting strangely. Amina arrives in New Mexico reluctant but soon realizes that something may actually be wrong with her father; not only is he talking to dead relatives on the front porch, but he's exhibiting odd behavior at work. By the time Thomas is diagnosed with a physical disease, Amina is feeling a bit haunted by the past herself√ā¬•she can't escape from memories of growing up with the gifted but troubled Akhil, whose death as a high school senior was a blow from which no one in the family has recovered. Amina also finds a lover she avoids introducing to her parents for good reason: He's the brother of Akhil?s high school sweetheart, and he isn't Indian. Amina?s romance, as well as mouthwatering descriptions of Kamala?s cooking, leavens but does not diminish the Eapens? family tragedy.Comparisons of Jacob to Jhumpa Lahiri are inevitable; Lahiri may be more overtly profound, Jacob more willing to go for comedy, but both write with naked honesty about the uneasy generational divide among Indians in America and about family in all its permutations.Pub Date: July 1st, 2014ISBN: 978-0-8129-9478-0Page count: 512ppPublisher: Random House… (more)
bentstoker | Jan 26, 2024 |
I read the original Buzzfeed piece that inspired this a while back, and I'm very glad to find the longer, graphic novel memoir is just as good.

As someone who also was the only one of X background growing up in a western town, and who will have mixed race kids I found this really resonant. The art style is sparse, but that draws more attention to the dialogue/text between Mira and the people in her life. Colorism in both the Indian community and America's perception of who is 'really from here' are a repeating motif (that unfortunately just... always exists IRL).

This is also going to be one of those books I recommend to white folks who might not've had the realization that their experience isn't the universal one and that for some Americans, getting questioned about the spaces we occupy is a 'normal' occurrence, or that very unsatisfactory yet unsurprising "I told you so" re: the dread from election night 2016's results.
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Daumari | 52 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |



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