Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

A Memoir

By Roz Chast
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781608198061, 240pp.)

Publication Date: May 6, 2014

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Description

#1 "New York Times" Bestseller

2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST

In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.

When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the "crazy closet"--with predictable results--the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed.

While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies--an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades--the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.

An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, "Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant" will show the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller.




About the Author
Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn and now lives in Connecticut. Her cartoons have appeared in countless magazines, and she is the author of many books, including The Party, After You Left.


NPR
Tuesday, Dec 30, 2014

In Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast combines text, cartoons, sketches and photos to describe her interactions with her parents during the last years of their lives. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Thursday, May 8, 2014

In Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast combines text, cartoons, sketches and photos to describe her interactions with her parents during the last years of their lives. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

NPR
Monday, May 5, 2014

In her illustrated memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, longtime New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast describes being an only child and conflicted caretaker to her aging parents. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

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