Parul Sehgal of The New York Times reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."
This week, "Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?"—a funny, scary, stinging look at aging by Roz Chast, whose cartoons have appeared in the New Yorker since 1978.
"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" is Chast’s graphic memoir of her parents’ final years.
It was reviewed for the New York Times Book Review by Alex Witchel who writes, “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.”
In the book, Chast describes growing up in Brooklyn, the only child of her an overbearing mother and gentle, if ineffectual, father.
When accidents befell them in their nineties, it fell to her to care for them, to move them into assisted living and sift through their belongings.
She details her parents’ increasingly fragility, their growing panic and terror at aging—as well as her own panic and terror at becoming their caretaker with so much still unresolved, all with her signature light touch and biting wit.
Witchel writes, “No one has perfect parents and no one can write a perfect book about her relationship to them. But Chast has come close.”
Find more reviews of new books in the New York Times Book Review at nytimes.com/books.