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Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Chast, Roz (Book)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
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"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. 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" --
Authors: Chast, Roz
Statement of Responsibility: Roz Chast
Title: Can't we talk about something more pleasant?
Edition: First U.S. edition
Characteristics: 228 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Content Type: text
still imagetext
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: "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. 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" --
Subject Headings: Chast, Roz Family Comic books, strips, etc Adult children of aging parents Family relationships United States Comic books, strips, etc Aging parents Family relationships United States Comic books, strips, etc Aging parents Care United States Comic books, strips, etc Cartoonists United States Biography
Topical Term: Adult children of aging parents
Aging parents
Aging parents
Cartoonists
Alternate Title: Subtitle on cover: A memoir
ISBN: 9781608198061
1608198065
Branch Call Number: 741.5697 C
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New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her unique brand of cynical humor to this unflinchingly honest graphic memoir recalling the years she spent caring for her aging parents. Her father’s anxiety and increasing dementia were challenging enough, but when her mother’s health began to rapidly decline it became painfully clear to Chast she could no longer be their sole caregiver. Struggling with the guilt of placing her parents in assisted living and the unrelenting worries about expenses related to their care, she does her best to keep everything afloat. As the title suggests, aging and dying are subjects few people wish to discuss but Chast does a commendable job of tempering the difficulties faced by both elderly parents and their caregivers with plenty of absurd, laugh out loud moments. Chast uses a variety of formats to tell her story; sequential cartoon panels are interspersed with a more traditional narrative punctuated by larger illustrations, photographs, and poems written by Chast’s mother. Together, they tell a complex story about a family that, while far from perfect, cared deeply for each other. A finalist for the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction -

Sep 05, 2014
  • xaipe rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I am a big fan of Roz Chast's New Yorker cartoons and this book was a real feast for me. Funny, sad, ruefully loving and the drawings were hilarious. Aging parents and their problems isn't exactly a subject one would expect to be so funny, but I loved it and laughed all the way through.

No matter what kind of relationship you have with your parents, or how many siblings to help you share the responsibility for their care, I think you will be able to relate with the feelings of guilt and inadequacy that we feel as our parents become older and less stable in mind and body. Tempered with humor and antidotes it was irresistible reading.

Aug 01, 2014
  • Jane60201 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book is funny and poignant at the same time--and so,so, true for any child who has been through it with an elderly parent.

Jul 16, 2014
  • kozakd rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I agree with the previous comments. A brilliant, honest and insightful graphic novel that you will finish in a sitting because you can't put it down.

"Acclaimed cartoonist Roz Chast, best known for her work in The New Yorker, relates her experiences with her aging parents in this bittersweet memoir, which reproduces conversations about getting older and moving to a retirement home (from which the title Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? derives), followed by descriptions of their declining health and the ends of their lives. Chast captures the reader's sympathy for both her parents and herself, employing documents, photographs, and her usual cartoon style, which brings to life her parents' personalities and her concern for them, leavened with deft touches of ironic humour." Biography and Memoir July 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/90664ed0-112c-4dc3-badc-4aff1fc6e001?postId=b5fb9674-9abe-43b9-af02-3e8998058388

Jul 07, 2014
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fans of Chast's cartoons should be warned: this is not a funny book, except for brief moments. But it's very personal and very honest about the challenges of caring for elderly parents.

Jul 04, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed the graphic novel style of this memoir. It was a tough topic to cover (care of aging parents) but she managed to do it with grace and humor!

Jul 01, 2014
  • stewaroby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

So funny, so sad, so familiar. Chast lives a long, long way from where I read her book and our lives are very different but she has the great gift of making the particular universal. I've always loved her work but this is on another level.

Jun 04, 2014
  • JCLSarahA rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Longtime New Yorker Magazine cartoonist, Roz Chast, has gifted us with a new graphic memoir about her experiences in helping her parents as they age, and of her thoughts and feelings at their eventual deaths when they are in their 90’s. She is honest, straightforward and thankfully often times hilariously funny on a topic that few people really want to think about - but one that we all will have to go through sooner or later.

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app02 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30