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


Overview -

#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, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents.  Read more...


 
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More About Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
 
 
 
Overview

#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, 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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781632861016
  • ISBN-10: 1632861011
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publish Date: September 2016
  • Page Count: 240
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Comics & Graphic Novels > Nonfiction - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Book clubs: A daughter's final role

The inimitable Roz Chast delivers a funny and sensitive graphic memoir with Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?. Mixing her trademark illustrations with family photos and handwritten text, The New Yorker cartoonist tells the story of caring for her parents—both in their 90s—as they succumbed to dementia and the physical ailments of old age. When the Chasts become too enfeebled to stay in their Brooklyn apartment, the author makes the difficult—and costly—decision to move them to an assisted living facility near her home in Connecticut. In a narrative showcasing her signature black humor and spot-on observations about life, Chast, an only child, also looks back on her family’s history, exploring the identities of her volatile, strong-willed mother, Elizabeth, and her needy, anxious father, George. Her offbeat drawings prove a wonderful medium for this unflinching look at the intricacies of family life and the realities of growing old. A finalist for the 2014 National Book Award, Chast’s memoir is a brilliant mix of the comic and the tragic.

ALL ABOARD
An international blockbuster since its publication in January 2015, Paula Hawkins’ supremely suspenseful The Girl on the Train is the consummate page-turner. Rachel, a solitary alcoholic, commutes to work in London on the same train every day, passing the home of a couple whom she observes through the window. Rachel, who is divorced, imagines a picture-perfect life for the pair and christens them Jess and Jason. One morning, Rachel witnesses a shocking incident in the couple’s home, and she soon learns that Jess, whose real name is Megan Hipwell, has vanished. Rachel goes to the authorities to share what she knows about the couple, only to become entangled in a murder investigation. The story of what really happened to Megan—and of Rachel’s possible involvement—makes for a first-rate thriller. Hawkins’ meticulously crafted thriller is a terrific choice for book clubs, who will want to check out the film version when it hits theaters in October. 

TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award, is a mesmerizing exploration of marriage and the ties that bind us all. Lotto, an acclaimed playwright, and Mathilde, his elegant, elusive wife, are the ideal couple. Intelligent, attractive and very much in love, they seem bound for long-term marital bliss. But there’s more to their relationship than meets the eye, a disjunction Groff articulates by splitting the narrative into two parts and devoting one section to Lotto and the other to Mathilde. As each partner recalls their 24-year union, long-buried secrets and private rivalries come to the fore. Groff’s depiction of her characters’ inner lives—the hidden jealousies, the misunderstandings—is electrifying. Beautifully written and uncannily perceptive, this is a probing look at the tensions that lurk beneath the surface of every close relationship.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews