Big Read 2020 – About the Book

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is a 2014 graphic memoir by American cartoonist and author Roz Chast. The book is about Chast’s parents in their final years. Her father, George, died at the age of 95 and her mother, Elizabeth, who worked as an assistant elementary school principal, died at the age of 97. The author derived the book’s title from her parents’ refusal to discuss their advancing years and infirmities.

The book’s storyline, spanning an eight-year period from 2001 to 2009, concerns Roz Chast’s parents living in Brooklyn. The book describes various interactions between Chast and her parents. Chast, who lives in Connecticut, often used to visit her parents, calling their home “a hoarder’s paradise”. The couple is later moved into assisted living facilities near Chast’s home due to their ailing health.



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