Friday, January 2, 2015
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
by Roz Chast
Bloomsbury USA, 2014
source: borrowed from the library
Well I certainly didn't expect this to happen... revealing my first book of the year and reviewing it at the same time! That mysterious system known as inter-library loan actually selected the book for me and, since we're leaving for Florida in a week, I needed to read and return it ASAP.
I've enjoyed Roz Chast's cartoons in The New Yorker for decades and when her first memoir began appearing on "Best of" lists everywhere, I knew I had to read it.
As it turns out, the notoriety is well-deserved. A 2014 National Book Award finalist, this graphic memoir, composed of illustrations, photos, and text, addresses a topic all of us must deal with at some point - the aging and death of our parents.
Chast does not sugar-coat her experience. She is honest and candid about her childhood, her relationship with her parents, and the challenge of dealing with their increasing physical and emotional needs, as well as the associated financial worries.
This book is not especially pleasant or uplifting, but it will make you think, perhaps begin to formulate a plan, or at least nudge you into discussion with your parents.