Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

This is a memoir of her parents’ decline and her experience of dealing with their deaths. It’s unblinkingly rendered, and it’s interesting to contrast such grim subject matter with the format of cartoons–but ultimately it just read like a log of what happened, largely devoid of reflection, connection to the modern world, or anything surprising.

Perhaps my expectations were off because my only real standard for comparison here is Alison Bechdel, whose memoirs are much more complex.

It’s well written and drawn, and I see how it has been an important book for people who have shared her experience (some startlingly similar to what my mother experienced with my grandmother) but the power is in the material, and perhaps its accessibility, more than the rendering.

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