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Can't we talk about something more PLEASANT?…
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Can't we talk about something more PLEASANT?

de Roz Chast

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,28010211,093 (4.31)245
"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" --… (mais)
Membro:AnneliM
Título:Can't we talk about something more PLEASANT?
Autores:Roz Chast
Informação:
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:****
Etiquetas:A Memoir, Graphic

Detalhes da Obra

Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir de Roz Chast

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I like having my parents in my closet. The thought of burying their cremains in an arbitrary hole in the ground does not appeal to me. We don't have a family plot, so choosing one cemetery over another seems random. Throwing their ashes off the side of a boat makes as much sense to me as tossing them in a wastebasket at Starbucks. And decanting them into a decorative urn placed on the mantelpiece in the living room is just... ugh.

My bedroom closet is not large. The clothes in it are not stylish, but they are organized by color in a way I like to look at. The shoes are on a tree, or placed in pairs on the floor. It's not a super-neat closet, but it's not messy. I think it makes a nice home for them. Every time I open its door, I see the boxes and I think of them.


I am so glad Roz Chast wrote this book, because it means I don't have to. It joins [b:Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened|17571564|Hyperbole and a Half Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened|Allie Brosh|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1409522492s/17571564.jpg|24510592], [b:Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir|12868761|Let's Pretend This Never Happened A Mostly True Memoir|Jenny Lawson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489415716s/12868761.jpg|17995392], and [b:Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things|23848559|Furiously Happy A Funny Book About Horrible Things|Jenny Lawson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1523830369s/23848559.jpg|43075476] on my list of books that managed to make me laugh about the awful things in my life, in all our lives. It is a meditation not only on the horrible humiliation of dying, but also on the brokenness in families that can't always be mended by the end, on the helplessness of obligations that can't really be met, on the piles and piles of stuff that accumulate in the course of living, and on the horrifying expense of the final days in our lovely, youth obsessed, never-consider-the-reaper culture. The unfairness of it all is rather crushing. Fortunately, Chast is here, not to cushion the blow, but to share it. We cannot beat death, but at least we can laugh at it, and at ourselves. ( )
  amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
I agree with some other reviews that this book focused more on Chast's difficult relationship with her parents than the aging process in general. I expected it to focus on her experience seeing her parents age and die, and how she deals with it, but I didn't relate to some of her issues with her parents from childhood. Not that it makes the story less important or authentic, or that my relating to it is imperative to my rating. It's hard to explain, but I was looking for something I just didn't find in this book. That's on me, but it still affected my enjoyment of this book. I appreciated how difficult it was to write and experience but I was looking for something a bit more cathartic. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
With humor, pathos, unrelenting self-scrutiny, and pain, Roz Chast illustrates the decline and fall--several falls--of her parents. As an only child, the burden of trying to help them manage their lives lands squarely on her shoulders. If only their personalities were easier to manage! I cringed in recognition at some of the cartoon panels and photographs. The book also includes several poems composed by her mother in original facsimile. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
I've long been a fan of Chast's New Yorker cartoons, and this graphic memoir's catchy title led me to think it was about the current state of affairs in our country. Turns out it is much more personal and even more depressing: facing the decline of elderly parents. Chast is brutally honest, which I admire and respect. Her parents have lived in an apartment in Brooklyn for the majority of their lives, and are a distinct unit of 2, with many quirky dynamics that go along with that. At age 93, they begin to have health (physical and mental) problems and their insulated little life changes drastically, as does Chast's as she struggles to care for them and maintain her own family and life in CT. They are adamant about not leaving the apt. until abject need forces them into a "Place" near Chast in CT. However, as pensioned NY schoolteachers, moving out of state nullifies their insurance. This is just one instance of some of the struggles and absurdity they all face. Chast is an only child, so this is all on her, and her parents neither prepared for nor ever wanted to discuss the eventualities of old age and death. Eye-opening, heart-breaking, thoughtful and creatively expressed through Chast's drawings, this book thoroughly tackles the topic of walking with parents for the last leg of life. Big takeaway: pare down and eliminate stuff! ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
With honesty and humor, Roz Chast writes about her parents' end of life in this memoir, detailing all the less-than-pleasant aspects of aging and dying.

It seems to me that this is a very needed book. Although death and dying affect all of us eventually, there doesn't seem much other than perhaps some bland nonfiction about wills and etc. out there. If the death of an older person does occur in a book (fiction or nonfiction), it is generally over and done with pretty quickly. Chast goes into all the heartaches of turns for the worst followed by unexpected recoveries followed by more turns for the worst. She details failing memories, frequent falls, and all the other not-so-nice realities of elder years.

Many women have been in Chast's shoes of trying to raise young-ish children while also having to deal with elderly parents. Although much has been written about this being true in terms of articles listing statistics, I haven't seen much written about it from the point of view of the person going through this. Although I haven't been in that exact situation, much of what Chast wrote resounded with what happened with my grandparents in their last years. (In fact, although their individual quirks were different, her descriptions of her parents reminded me very much of my grandparents.)

This book will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you wish for more time with your elderly loved ones while simultaneously making you hope that their dying won't be stretched out for years. This is a very touching and much needed work. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Sep 5, 2020 |
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To my parents, George and Elizabeth
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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" --

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