Cant We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast#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, Chasts 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, Cant We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chasts talent as cartoonist and storyteller.
Cartoon Memoirs: An Evening with Roz Chast
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
For the rest of the list, click here. And when your scrimpings run out:. If not, you are probably young enough to have parents who are white-water rafting, eating Greek yogurt and driving you insane. Her signature wavy-lined drawings pulsate with emotion and hope as her words cut straight to hopeless reality. It veers between being laugh-out-loud funny and so devastating I had to take periodic timeouts. Cartoons, as it happens, are tailor-made for the absurdities of old age, illness and dementia, the odd dramas and grinding repetition expertly illustrated by copious exclamation points, capital letters and antic drawings. They also limit the opportunity for navel gazing and self-pity, trapping you in the surreal moments themselves.
If not, you have my total sympathy. Reader Resources. Louis Post-Dispatch. Chast as a child was more like her father, George, a gentle, easily distracted man and a chronic worrier. He never learned to drive or swim, and never used the stove except to boil water for tea. Born ten days apart and married in , her parents did everything together in a rhythm all their own. It was a need to look into this closet that caused Elizabeth to fall off a ladder and end up in the hospital.
Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Buy from other retailers. 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.
The author of this majestically juvenile allegory, Jerry Siegel, had lost his own father, the proprietor of a haberdashery in Cleveland, when real-life bad guys robbed his store and he had a heart attack. Batman, as we know from his origin tale, was a rich boy who vowed to fight crime after watching his parents get gunned down in an alley on their way home from a family night at the movies. With the notable exceptions of Nancy and her boy pal Sluggo, most of the kids in the humor strips were not orphans literally, but children liberated from adult oversight. In the funnies, kids have always tended to behave not only as if there were no adults in their lives; they have also acted or at least talked like adults themselves, serving simultaneously as objects of fantasy for young readers who see grown-ups as obstructions or irrelevancies and for adults looking for escape in the jokey playland of comic-strip childhood. It was in the serious continuity strips, which have nearly disappeared from the newspaper comics as shrinking space has reduced the size of strips to that of microfilm, where orphaned children were once among the most popular characters.
R oz Chast is my favourite New Yorker cartoonist, possibly because her work does not fit the standard template. You will not see dogs or cats passing wry remarks to each other; and seldom will the drawing take up a great deal more space than the caption. Her work is often very wordy; the lettering is part of the cartoon, never in italics underneath. Her characters are usually fraught, desperately genteel losers in various states of self-delusion, devoid of any trace of glamour; there are more antimacassars in her work than probably now exist in the entire United States. At the top left of the cartoon, an anxious old lady; at the bottom right, a TV, fizzing with menace. We live, she is saying, on the precipice of disaster. It still has plenty of juice in it.