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

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

Hardback

By (author) Roz Chast

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 196mm x 241mm x 23mm | 907g
  • Publication date: 3 July 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1608198065
  • ISBN 13: 9781608198061
  • Illustrations note: Colour illustrations throughout
  • Sales rank: 10,378

Product description

#1 "New York Times" Bestseller2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTIn 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.

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Author information

Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her cartoons began appearing in the "New Yorker" in 1978. Since then she has published hundreds of cartoons and written or illustrated more than a dozen books. This is her first memoir. She lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Review quote

"If you've ever wondered about the origins of Roz Chast's quavery, quietly desperate, antimacassar-bestrewn universe, look no further. This grim, sidesplitting memoir about the slow decline of her meek father and overpowering mother explains it all. Bedsores, dementia, broken hips--no details are spared, and 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 and Are You My Mother? ""After I read this brilliant book, I urged all my friends to read it. Now I have moved on to strangers. So take this book to the cash register this instant. You won't regret it." --Patricia Marx, author of "Starting from Happy" and "Him Her Him Again the End of Him " "Reading Roz Chast has always had the quality of eavesdropping on a person's private mutterings-to-herself. In this memoir of a most wretched time in her life, 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, "New Yorker" cartoonist and author of "Bruce McCall's Zany Afternoons" and "The Last Dream-o-Rama""The wryest pen since Dorothy Parker's." --"O, The Oprah Magazine""The wacky world Roz Chast has created in her cartoons is a parallel universe to ours, utterly recognizable in all its banalities and weirdnesses, but slightly askew." --Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times""The maga