Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz ChastCan't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir by Roz Chast

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir

byRoz Chast

Paperback | September 13, 2016

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#1 New York Times Bestseller
2014 National Book Award Finalist
Winner of the inaugural 2014 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
Winner of the 2014 Books for a Better Life Award
Winner of the 2015 Reuben Award from National Cartoonists Society

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 grew up in Brooklyn. Her cartoons began appearing in the New Yorker in 1978. Since then, she has published more than one thousand cartoons in the magazine. She has written and illustrated many books, including the national bestseller Going into Town, What I Hate: From A to Z, and the collections of her own cartoons The Party ...
Title:Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.31 × 7.57 × 0.67 inPublished:September 13, 2016Publisher:Bloomsbury USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1632861011

ISBN - 13:9781632861016


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved This Graphic Novel This is a graphic novel memoir about the author’s experiences with aging and dying parents. Not only is Roz Chast the author but also the illustrator. When the novel begins, Roz’s parents are in their early 90’s but are still living in their own apartment in Brooklynn, New York City while Roz resides in Connecticut. We follow Roz’s experiences with putting her parents into a care facility, cleaning out their apartment, the death of her father, the continuing decline and costly care of her mother and finally her mother’s passing. This is not a graphic novel that I could have read a few years ago as my own experiences with my mother’s dementia, having to put her into a care home and her eventual passing would have been just too raw, however, enough time has now passed that I was able to experience the frustration and humor without it feeling personal. There were many times I laughed out loud simply because I could relate to Roz’s experiences with her parents. I loved the drawings and the colors used. I have not read a lot of graphic novels, however, the ones that I have read and/or looked through are mostly black and white drawings or dark, heavy colors are used. This book is done in bright colors such as yellows, oranges, blues and greens and I found it refreshing and it made such a difference in my enjoyment factor. I definitely recommend this memoir in the graphic novel format – it was a hit with me!
Date published: 2018-05-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Can't be read! Unfortunately this book is not readable on a tablet or a Kobo reader. You must get a hard copy! I tried on both but it really is impossible. I know I would really like the book if I could read it!
Date published: 2015-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended story of parents growing older - candid, moving, often painful, often funny I highly recommend it, especially for anyone who's lost a parent or a grandparent to old age. A couple of the pages can be read online at the NewYorker website, but reading the whole book beginning to end had a major emotional impact on me. Many moments reminded me of my grandparents, and my parents. Also see what Sandra said!
Date published: 2015-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny, poignant, uncomfortably, liberatingly truthful Roz Chast's chronicle of her parents' decline will resonate with anyone who has gone through this process, and be helpful to anyone who will have to. It will make you laugh, frighten you, move you to tears, but also help you forgive yourself and your parents.
Date published: 2014-05-17

Editorial Reviews

"By turns grim and absurd, deeply poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Ms. Chast reminds us how deftly the graphic novel can capture ordinary crises in ordinary American lives." -Michiko Kakutani, New York Times"A tour de force of dark humor and illuminating pathos about her parents' final years as only this quirky genius of pen and ink could construe them." -Elle"An achievement of dark humor that rings utterly true." -Washington Post"One of the major books of 2014 . . . Moving and bracingly candid . . . This is, in its original and unexpected way, one of the great autobiographical memoirs of our time." -Buffalo News"Better than any book I know, this extraordinarily honest, searing and hilarious graphic memoir captures (and helps relieve) the unbelievable stress that results when the tables turn and grown children are left taking care of their parents. . . [A] remarkable, poignant memoir." - San Francisco Chronicle"Very, very, very funny, in a way that a straight-out memoir about the death of one's elderly parents probably would not be . . . Ambitious, raw and personal as anything she has produced." -New York Times"Devastatingly good . . . Anyone who has had Chast's experience will devour this book and cling to it for truth, humor, understanding, and the futile wish that it could all be different." -St. Louis Post Dispatch"Gut-wrenching and laugh-aloud funny. I want to recommend it to everyone I know who has elderly parents, or might have them someday." -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Joins Muriel Spark's Memento Mori, William Trevor's The Old Boys, and Kingsley Amis's Ending Up in the competition for the funniest book about old age I've ever read. It is also heartbreaking." -Barnes & Noble Review"Revelatory. So many have faced (or will face) the situation that the author details, but no one could render it like she does. A top-notch graphic memoir that adds a whole new dimension to readers' appreciation of Chast and her work." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"Chast is at the top of her candid form, delivering often funny, trenchant, and frequently painful revelations -- about human behavior, about herself -- on every page." -David Small, author of STITCHES"Roz Chast squeezes more existential pain out of baffled people in cheap clothing sitting around on living-room sofas with antimacassar doilies in crummy apartments than Dostoevsky got out of all of Russia's dark despair. This is a great book in the annals of human suffering, cleverly disguised as fun." -Bruce McCall, author of BRUCE MCCALL'S ZANY AFTERNOONS"It is in that sense of having 'nailed it' - of providing a detailed, funny, heart breaking and true description of what it is like to care for and lose elderly patients - that this book will find its greatest impact. As points for discussion and for reflection, and as a means of reassurance, this work will offer to many the validation and support of their imperfect roles as imperfect caregivers. It is a great resource." -Kenneth Rockwood, University of Manchester, UK, Age and Ageing"Never has the abyss of dread and grief been plumbed to such incandescently hilarious effect. The lines between laughter and hysteria, despair and rage, love and guilt, are quavery indeed, and no one draws them more honestly, more . . . unscrimpingly, than Roz Chast." -Alison Bechdel, author of FUN HOME