Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

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

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#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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  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 195.58 x 241.3 x 22.86mm | 907.18g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Bloomsbury Press
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • Colour illustrations throughout
  • 1608198065
  • 9781608198061
  • 3,650

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"[Chast's] great gift is her ability to filter normal life through the manic salad spinner that is her mind, to produce work that is both sui generis and universal. And so, depending on where you yourself are on the parental-decline timeline, "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? "can be read as primer or cautionary tale, horror movie or documentary. It is also very, very, veryj funny, in a way that a straight-out memoir about the death of one's elderly parents probably would not be . . . [It is] ambitious, raw and personal as anything she has produced. Composed mostly of cartoons, but peppered with photographs and chunks of prose, it ricochets back and forth chronologically and in the end is as much a portrait of a family as it is a story about two people's deaths." - Sarah Lyall, "The New York Times""Poignant and funny . . . [Chast] brings her parents and herself to life in the form of her characteristic scratchy-lined, emotionally expressive characters, making the story both more personal and universal. Despite the subject matter, the book is frequently hilarious, highlighting the stubbornness and eccentricities (and often sheer lunacy) of the author's parents. It's a homage that provides cathartic 'you are not alone' support to those caring for aging parents . . . This is a cartoon memoir to laugh and cry, and heal, with--Roz Chast's masterpiece." -"Publishers Weekly, "starred review"Revelatory . . . Few graphic memoirs are as engaging and powerful as this or strike a more responsive chord. Chast retains her signature style and wry tone throughout this long-form blend of text and drawings, but nothing she's done previously hits home as hard as this account of her family life . . . A series of wordless drawings of her mother's final days represents the most intimate and emotionally devastating art that Chast has created. 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 m

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About Roz Chast

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.

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