**LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL**
From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, an urgent graphic memoir about surviving 21st-century Amerikkka
‘The Ta-Nehisi Coates of comics’
GARRY TRUDEAU, creator of Doonesbury
‘You won’t be able to put it down’
ALISON BECHDEL, author of Fun Home
Darrin Bell was six years old when he had The Talk: his mother told him he couldn’t have a realistic water gun. She said she feared for his safety, that police tend to think of little Black boys as older and less innocent than they really are.
Through evocative illustrations and sharp humour, Bell examines how The Talk shaped intimate and public moments from childhood to adulthood. While coming of age in Los Angeles – and finding a voice through cartooning – Bell becomes painfully aware of being regarded as dangerous by white teachers, neighbours and police officers, and thus of his mortality. Drawing attention to the brutal murders of African Americans, and showcasing revealing insights and cartoons along the way, he brings us up to the moment of reckoning when people took to the streets protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
And now Bell must decide whether he and his own six-year-old son are ready to have The Talk.
It's nearly impossible to appreciate another person's truth, but if a brilliant storyteller offers to light the way, take him up on it. Bell is the Ta-Nehisi Coates of comics, an indispensable explainer of how it feels to grow up in a world that repeatedly treats you as other. The talk with my white sons boiled down to 'Be kind.' It's hard to overstate the distance between that admonition and 'Stay alive' -- Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury Propulsive reading, drawn with urgency and verve. Once you pick up The Talk, you won't be able to put it down -- Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home A moving portrait... funny and touching, intellectually and emotionally stimulating. There's pride and prejudice, family drama, and a love story. I loved this book. You will too -- Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling Darrin Bell's first foray into graphic novels is a triumph. A cinematically comic, coming-of-age blend of race, culture, and gratuitous nerdity. Wonderful -- Keith Knight, creator of The K Chronicles and Woke A deeply personal, brutally honest, and achingly funny graphic novel... The Talk is a strikingly illustrated vision -- Lalo Alcaraz, creator of La Cucaracha
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