A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Introductions: Mira Jacob

By Rebecca Hoogs, Executive Director

Every summer, the SAL staff choose a book by an upcoming author in our season to read and discuss together. And it was a special joy last summer, after a year and a half of Zoom, to climb down from the Zoom grid and to gather in a circle, in-person in my backyard, to discuss Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations.

Published in 2019, Good Talk was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award, and named a New York Times Notable Book.

If you have been a parent or work with kids, you know the question kids ask: they are deeply difficult, wildly heartbreaking, hilarious—often all at the same time. Good Talk was inspired by those questions, and the vulnerable grasping for answers that make any kind of sense.

Jacqueline Woodson praised the book, calling it 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 Mira Jacob’s brilliant hands, we are gifted with a narrative that is sometimes hysterically funny, always honest, and ultimately healing.”

And if you follow Mira Jacob on social media, you will know that she continued her signature brand of laugh-sob cultural criticism throughout the pandemic with the introduction of her “pandemic boyfriend,” Bill Murray as he was in 1993.

In a world that increasingly does not seem to make sense, I am grateful for writers and readers who ask the hard questions, who gather in a circle, pull up a chair, enter into the community of a conversation to grapple with the answers, no matter how difficult or impossible those answers are. You are those people, and the writers, Sonora Jha and Mira Jacob, are those people too.

It’s pure chance that this event with two amazing women that I admire so much happened to fall on International Women’s Day, but I can think of no better way of celebrating.

Rebecca Hoogs gave this introduction to open our 2021/22 Women You Need to Know (WYNK) Series event with Mira Jacob on March 8, 2022. Tickets to view the recorded event are still available through Tuesday, March 15, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. (PT).

Posted in Women You Need to Know2021/22 Season