Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Graphic Novel - 2016
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A graphic memoir by a long-time New Yorker cartoonist celebrates the final years of her aging parents' lives through four-color cartoons, family photos and documents that reflect the artist's struggles with caregiver challenges.
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 a mixture of cartoons, family photos, 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. -- Publisher description
Publisher: New York, NY : Bloomsbury USA, 2016
Edition: Paperback edition
Copyright Date: ♭2014
ISBN: 9781632861016
Branch Call Number: B C388C 2016
Characteristics: 228 pages : chiefly color illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A New Yorker cartoonist celebrates the final years of her aging parents’ lives in a graphic memoir that reflects an adult child’s struggles with caregiver decisions and challenges.

Chast's memoir about her relationship with her aging parents is “both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.”—Bloomsbury Reviews

It’s always amazing to me how New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast gets to the heart of an issue with her dark, dry and hysterically funny perspective. In this memoir (in cartoon format) she treats us to her wry, poignant, devastating and totally on-the-mark observations about the aging of her parents... Read More »

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JCLDebbieF Jul 06, 2017

An important read for anyone facing the process of caring for elderly parents. I was fascinated with Ms. Chast's story and identified with her anger, guilt and sorrow. It actually relieved some of the guilt I have when dealing with my own parents. It made me laugh and cry.

Apr 29, 2017

Who doesn't love Roz Chast? Her cartoons hit the mark and often say what we're thinking but might be too polite to say ourselves. This is her hand-written memoir through drawings and comments about her aging parents accompanied by thoughts about her relationship with them over the years. It is sure to hit home with many of us who have had to deal with the same thing. Her poignant photographs of 48 years accumulation of stuff in their apartment brought back memories of trying to figure out how to deal with the same thing in my own parents' home. Each item is fraught with personal history.

There are many things that parents (and others) don't want to talk about. I'm glad that Roz Chast chose to share those things with us.

PinesandPrejudice Feb 11, 2017

Okay this story was depressing, even though I knew that going in. It made me examine the dynamics of death and what happens when your parents grow old. It was a fascinating, raw, honest look into such relationships as well as the struggles. Roz was honest with her feelings, both positive and negative, about the whole journey. I found it fascinating and interesting about something we all have to go through at one point or another.

Sep 11, 2016

Recommended for anyone with aging parents, or for all of us who are getting on in years and will soon find ourselves in this situation. Good companion book: "They Left Us Everything" by Plum Johnson. Both tell the gritty details of aging and the changes it brings, when the aldut and child roles are reversed

May 28, 2016

Humor will lighten the heart-rending subject of dealing with aging parents. How wonderful it was to read that I was not alone in my thoughts. Ms. Chast bravely put into words and pictures what most of us only think. A masterpiece.

antrakoka2 Apr 18, 2016

Ms. Chast steps over the usual taboos and speaks up about the unspoken facts as she arrives at the unbearable final stop of her aging parents. Humor and all, Ms. Chase gives you an unforgettable lesson in life in her serious undertone.

Mar 15, 2016

Excellent--her best!

Nov 13, 2015

Essential read for anyone who is a caregiver wondering how to handle the next steps. Her down to earth sense of humor lightens up a scarey and emotional subject that many of us are or will face.

Oct 10, 2015

Such a great read, but especially for anyone with an aging parent or parents. Roz Chast's observations are spot-on. You may not recognize your own specific situation, but some of the feelings and attitudes will likely be familiar.... The cartoons are wonderful and the story well-told.

Oct 08, 2015

The ideal autobiographical comic story.

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