The Book

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant book cover
"Between their one-bad-thing-after-another lives and the Depression, World War II, and the Holocaust, in which they'd both lost family... who could blame them for not wanting to talk about death?" – Roz Chast in Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist 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; 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. – (McMillan Palgrave)

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†Big Read Wichita did not receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2016.

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