English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

NNLM Reading Club: End of Life

NNLM Reading Club Book Kit

Do you want to share this book with your reading club? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


Join Us for a Discussion of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Facebook or Twitter JPG
Customizable PDF* [8.5 x 11]

* How to edit PDF files


Discussion Guide for Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
Download and print the PDF


Graphic Medicine book cover image of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the “crazy closet”-with predictable results-the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies-an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades-the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.audiobook vector imageebook vector image

#1 New York Times Bestseller | 2014 National Book Award Finalist | 2014 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction | National Book Critics Circle Award | 2014 Books for a Better Life Award

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? | Roz Chast | Bloomsbury USA | 2016 reprint | 228 pages | ISBN: 978-1632861016

Headshot photo Roz ChastAuthor

Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her cartoons began appearing in the New Yorker in 1978. Since then she has published hundreds of cartoons and written or illustrated more than a dozen books. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is her first memoir.

Official Website of Roz Chast