Roz Chast -- Author of "Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?" -- to Speak in Tulsa

Oct 26, 2015

On this edition of ST, we speak with the popular New Yorker cartoonist and bestselling author Roz Chast about her latest book, an award-winning graphic memoir called "Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?" It's a book that is, as Michiko Kakutani noted in The New York Times, "by turns grim and absurd, deeply poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Ms. Chast reminds us how deftly the graphic novel can capture ordinary crises in ordinary American lives." And further, per a critic for Booklist: "New Yorker magazine cartoonist and prolific author Chast writes a bravely honest memoir of watching her parents decline, become too frail to stay in the Brooklyn apartment they called home for five decades, suffer dementia and physical depletion, and die in their nineties in a hospice-care facility. Unlike many recent parent-focused cartoon memoirs, such as Alison Bechdel's 'Are You My Mother?' (2012) and Nicole J. George's 'Calling Dr. Laura' (2012), in which the story is as much about the cartoonist's current work and family life as it is about his or her parents, Chast keeps her narrative tightly focused on her mother and father and her own problematic -- though not uncommon -- guilt-provoking relationships with them. Chast's hallmark quirky sketches are complemented by annotated photos from her own and her parents' childhoods. Occasionally, her hand-printed text will take up more than a full page, but it's neatly wound into accompanying panels or episodes. An unflinching look at the struggles facing adult children of aging parents." And as we learn on today's program, Chast will appear in Tulsa tomorrow night (Tuesday the 27th) at 6:45pm for a discussion of this book and the various end-of-life issues that it explores. This free-to-the-public event happens at the Hardesty Regional Library, at 8316 E. 93rd Street, and it's the first of three different yet related "Dying: Can We Talk?" events that the Tulsa City-County Library is presenting in connection with Clarehouse (a local nonprofit). More on all three events can be found here.