‘Can’t we talk about something more PLEASANT?: A Memoir’ by Roz Chast

Roz Chast squeezes more existential pain out of baffled people in cheap clothing sitting around on living-room sofas with antimacassar doilies in crummy apartments than Dostoevsky got out of all of Russia’s dark despair. This is a great book in the annals of human suffering, cleverly disguised as fun. Bruce McCall

Absolutely brilliant. Just loved this memoir by American cartoonist Roz Chast. It’s an honest heartfelt account of her parents’ final journey into old age, disability, and death. The slow decline of her meek father and overbearing mother is described in all of the detail that anyone dealing with elderly parents will be able to relate to–bedsores, assisted living, dementia, guilt, love, memories, worry, decisions, etc.–Chast holds nothing back. As she tells her story using cartoons and family photographs, Chaz strikes the right balance between humour and pathos. It would be so helpful to anyone going through the same experience.  If you’ve read this book, be sure to see the epilogue which appeared in The New Yorker in 2016.

Epilogue in The New Yorker

Note: According to the reviews I read, the graphics of this book are not well represented in the e-book format (Kindle). Hard cover is best. I borrowed a copy from the public library.

3 responses to “‘Can’t we talk about something more PLEASANT?: A Memoir’ by Roz Chast

  1. Hilarious. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Joanne, we paired this with They left us everything by Plum Johnson for our October Book Club. As you might expect there were many stories, much laughter and even some tears. Thanks again for your blog…many members in our club turn to it often!

    • Thanks so much for this heartwarming update, and encouragement Margo. What a great pairing for a book club meeting! Both books are so good! I’m sure it was a wonderful discussion.

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