Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast ⋆ Green Woman Store

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast


A Cartoonist’s funny, heartbreaking take on caring for aging parents. Text, cartoons, sketches and photos describe interactions with parents during the last years of their lives. Memoir.

In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist 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.

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; 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 shows the full range of Roz Chast’s talent as cartoonist and storyteller.


Roz Chast’s graphic memoir is called Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

This book is funny, heartbreaking and unflinching as it deals with her parents’ stubbornness, and their denial as they became frail. It’s never easy to talk with aging parents about the end of life, and about Roz’s own feelings of guilt that no matter what she did she wasn’t doing enough to help them. The book begins when her parents were still living in Brooklyn apartment where she grew up, and follows them as they move into assisted living, their repeated stays in the hospital, and finally Hospice.

Roz Chast combines text, cartoons, sketches and photos to describe her interactions with her parents during the last years of their lives when their mental and physical health were deteriorating and they became incapable of living alone. Her mother outlived her father and died in 2009 at the age of 97. ISBN 978-1608198061. Roz Chast is one of the New Yorker’s most popular Cartoonists, known for depicting insecurities, neuroses, and anxieties. She began drawing cartoons when she was growing up in Brooklyn as an only child with parents older than her friends. She attended Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Painting, but she reverted to type after graduation and began drawing cartoons once again. Her cartoons have been published in The New Yorker, Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, Redbook, and Mother Jones. Can’t We Talk About Something Else, is one of The New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2014. Chast lives with her husband in Connecticut. They have two children now in their 20s.

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