Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast
Give yourself a few hours when you start this one; I couldn’t tear myself away until I had read it all in one sitting. Chast’s comic memoir (and I mean “comic” as in “funny” and as in “composed of words and pictures”) tells the story of her parents’ deaths. Certainly it gets harrowing at points—Chast’s mother’s decline in particular is not smooth. But Chast’s narrative voice and presence casts an air over the proceedings that is generous, honest, and achingly human. Chast’s drawing style is noted for its neurotic squiggliness, and it suits this story’s anxieties and uncertainties. Yet the most memorable part for me was about midway through when Chast puts down her pen and simply provides several pages of photographs taken in her parents’ apartment after they’ve moved out of it—the result, like the rest of the book, is hilarious, heartbreaking, and unforgettable. Recommended by Danny.
#1 New York Times Bestseller
2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST