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The Resource Can't we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir, Roz Chast

Can't we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir, Roz Chast

Label
Can't we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir
Title
Can't we talk about something more pleasant?
Title remainder
a memoir
Statement of responsibility
Roz Chast
Title variation
Cant we talk about something more pleasant?
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In her first memoir, Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of ageing parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-colour 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; ageing 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
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, 2014.
  • Library Journal Best Books 2014
  • National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, 2014.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2014
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ “Something more pleasant” than the certainty of old age and death is what Chast’s parents would prefer to talk about, in this poignant and funny text-and-cartoon memoir of their final years. (In one cartoon, the Grim Reaper declares, “The Chasts are talking about me? Why, I’ll show them!”) Chast, a cartoonist who contributes frequently to the New Yorker , describes how her parents, George and Elizabeth, try her patience as she agonizes over their past and future. She brings her parents and herself to life in the form of her characteristic scratchy-lined, emotionally expressive characters, making the story both more personal and universal. Despite the subject matter, the book is frequently hilarious, highlighting the stubbornness and eccentricities (and often sheer lunacy) of the author’s parents. It’s a homage that provides cathartic “you are not alone” support to those caring for aging parents. Like Raymond Briggs’s classic Ethel and Ernest, this is a cartoon memoir to laugh and cry, and heal, with—Roz Chast’s masterpiece. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 10, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 10, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Chast (Theories of Everything ) draws the Moving Sidewalk of Life with a sign: "Caution—drop-off ahead." The New Yorker cartoonist had vaguely thought that "the end" came in three stages: feeling unwell, growing weaker over a month or so in bed, and dying one night. But when her parents passed 90, she learned that "the middle [stage] was a lot more painful, humiliating, long-lasting, complicated, and hideously expensive" than she imagined. Chast's scratchy art turns out perfectly suited to capturing the surreal realities of the death process. In quirky color cartoons, handwritten text, photos, and her mother's poems, she documents the unpleasant yet sometimes hilarious cycle of human doom. She's especially dead-on with the unpredictable mental states of both the dying and their caregivers: placidity, denial, terror, lunacy, resignation, vindictiveness, and rage. VERDICT Like Joyce Farmer in Special Exits (LJ 9/15/10), Chast so skillfully exposes herself and her family on the page as to give readers both insight and entertainment on a topic nearly everyone avoids. As with her New Yorker cartoons, Chast's memoir serves up existential dilemmas along with chuckles and can help serve as a tutorial for the inevitable.— M.C. --Martha Cornog (Reviewed March 15, 2014) (Library Journal, vol 139, issue 5, p103)
  • (The following is a combined review for CAN&#39 and T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT?)/* Starred Review */ A revelatory and occasionally hilarious memoir by the New Yorker cartoonist on helping her parents through their old age. Few graphic memoirs are as engaging and powerful as this or strike a more responsive chord. Chast (What I Hate, 2011, etc.) retains her signature style and wry tone throughout this long-form blend of text and drawings, but nothing she's done previously hits home as hard as this account of her family life as the only child of parents who had never even dated anyone else and whose deep bond left little room for this intruder in their midst. Yet, "the reality was that at 95, their minds and bodies were falling apart," and these two people who had only relied on each other were forced to rely on a host of caretakers, their daughter in particular, and to move from the Brooklyn apartment that had been home for half a century into a series of facilities that provided fewer and fewer amenities at escalating expense. Chast rarely lapses into sentimentality and can often be quite funny, as she depicts mortality as "The Moving Sidewalk of Life" ("Caution: Drop-Off Ahead") or deals with dread and anxiety on the "Wheel of DOOM, surrounded by the ‘cautionary' tales of my childhood." The older her parents get, the more their health declines and the more expensive the care they require, the bleaker the story becomes—until, toward the end, a series of 12 largely wordless drawings of her mother's final days represents the most intimate and emotionally devastating art that Chast has created. So many have faced (or will face) the situation that the author details, but no one could render it like she does. A top-notch graphic memoir that adds a whole new dimension to readers' appreciation of Chast and her work.(Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2014)
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10290179
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Chast, Roz
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Chast, Roz
  • Chast, Roz
  • Chast, Roz
  • Chast family
  • Chast, Roz
  • Comic books, strips, etc
  • Wit and humour, Pictorial
  • Graphic novels
  • Cartoonists
  • Adult children of ageing parents
  • Ageing parents
  • Adult children of ageing parents
  • Graphic novels
  • Older deaf people
  • Caregivers
  • Dementia
  • Cartoonists
  • Older couples
  • Ageing parents
  • Ageing parents
  • Parent and adult child
  • Wit and humour, pictorial
  • Adult children of ageing parents
  • Adult children of ageing parents
  • Parent and adult child
  • Older couples
Target audience
adult
Label
Can't we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir, Roz Chast
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Subtitle from cover
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still imagetext
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
The beginning of the end -- Return to the fold -- The elder lawyer -- Galapagos -- The fall -- Maimonides -- Sundowning -- The end of an era -- The move -- The old apartment -- The place -- The next step -- Kleenex abounding -- Postmortem -- Elizabeth, alone -- Bedtime stories -- Chrysalis -- The end
Control code
000053362183
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
228 pages
Isbn
9781608198061
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2015304302
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40024122781
Other physical details
chiefly colour illustrations
Specific material designation
regular print
System control number
(OCoLC)890246086
Label
Can't we talk about something more pleasant? : a memoir, Roz Chast
Link
Publication
Copyright
Note
Subtitle from cover
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still imagetext
  • text
  • still image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
The beginning of the end -- Return to the fold -- The elder lawyer -- Galapagos -- The fall -- Maimonides -- Sundowning -- The end of an era -- The move -- The old apartment -- The place -- The next step -- Kleenex abounding -- Postmortem -- Elizabeth, alone -- Bedtime stories -- Chrysalis -- The end
Control code
000053362183
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
228 pages
Isbn
9781608198061
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2015304302
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40024122781
Other physical details
chiefly colour illustrations
Specific material designation
regular print
System control number
(OCoLC)890246086

Subject

Genre

Included in

Library Locations

    • Lionel Bowen Library and Community CentreBorrow it
      669-673 Anzac Parade, Marouba, NSW, 2035, AU
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      -33.9151421 151.2408898
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