What do you say to your parents when their home (possibly your childhood home) is…grimy? Do you think, like I do, that the message could not have been delivered so brilliantly any other way? I was terrified of lockjaw. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast. The book comes to life “in vivid layers of anxiety, guilt, grime, humor, love, and sadness.”. A page from Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant. Have you had a similar discussion with your parents and/or children about aging and long-term care plans? Roz Chast, a cartoonist for the New Yorker, has written a memoir about her relationship with her elderly parents. 4. won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2014 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Nor is she kind to herself, detailing with some vigour and not a little venom her ongoing rows with her parents (once a daughter, always a daughter). You’ll want to talk about the form of the book itself. Her sign says, “You Wish.”, Drawing Ideas with Roz Chast (Art Works Blog 8/25/17). No doubt you’ll want to talk about that role-reversal and how to handle it. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? “Gut-wrenching and laugh-out-loud funny” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), Chast’s memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, is a mix of four-color cartoons, family photos, sketches, found documents, and narrative storytelling that chronicles the conflicting emotions, memories, and practical challenges of her parents’ last years and passing. She never loses sight of her parents' eccentric, calcified personalities. It was also named one of the Best Books of 2014 by more than fifty media outlets, including People, Oprah.com, and National Public Radio. “The quintessential work of that era would be a video monitor with static on it being watched by another video monitor, which would then also get static. “Anyone who has had Chast’s experience will devour this book and cling to it for truth, humor, understanding, and the futile wish that it could all be different" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Truly, this is the best, most singular work Chast has ever done, and you should rush out and buy it, for yourself and for everyone you know. Why do you think Chast included each element? Her father, George, was a sensitive man often gripped by anxiety. ("Your father had an egg in his pocket all day yesterday," says Elizabeth, during one of Chast's visits. The New Yorker cartoonist's account of her parents' final years is sobering stuff. Roz Chast (Photo via) Information about the author is available at her website. A former assistant principal in an elementary school, she was decisive, domineering, unafraid to make enemies, and prone to loud, angry outbursts she called “a blast from Chast,” especially toward her husband and daughter. The genre of graphic novels has flourished in recent years. Yes, that’s right. Why or why not? “Cartoons, as it happens, are tailor-made for the absurdities of old age, illness and dementia, the odd dramas and grinding repetition expertly illustrated by copious exclamation points, capital letters and antic drawings” (New York Times). Are Roz’s parents disrespected in any way? Not everyone can write a graphic novel to process her feelings! Date of entry: Jun-18-2014; Summary. Chast tells her story in graphic memoir form, using handwritten (as opposed to printed) words, as well as visuals such as color and gray cartoons, photographs, and pencil sketches.
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