For the 2019 NEA Big Read, famed New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast’s graphic novel memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, was selected as the topic of discussion. It is the first time a graphic novel has been chosen as the featured title in the entire 12 years of Irving’s NEA Big Read series. Copies of this precious book, a work of art to be read again and again, will be given away at our NEA Big Read events between April 9 and May 18 at and all Irving Library locations. At the heart of the book’s trembling sketches, scenes set with well-worn furnishings and understated, but expressive text, is the relationship between Roz Chast and her aging parents. It is as simple, yet as complicated as relationships come. When her parents can no longer live on their own in the Brooklyn apartment in which Chast was born and raised, Roz must arrange for their final years of care. However, the spirit of her mother looms large in life and death, creating a story with many flashbacks and fast forwards.
“"Chast so skillfully exposes herself and her family on the page as to give readers both insight and entertainment on a topic nearly everyone avoids. As with her New Yorker cartoons, Chast's memoir serves up existential dilemmas along with chuckles and can help serve as a tutorial for the inevitable." Library Journal (starred review)
See Roz Chast April 26 at the Irving Arts Center (IAC) for the NEA Big Read Keynote. Tickets are $15. Irving Arts Center and the Irving Public Library have partnered to bring Roz Chast, an award-winning artist and author to our city. It will be a beautiful celebration surrounded by her artwork in the free exhibit “Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs” which has been on display in many great museums and art galleries around the nation. The exhibit of Roz's work will be on display, free to view, April 13-July 7 in the Dupree Lobby Gallery at the Irving Arts Center. Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. At the event, pick up a free pre-signed copy of Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The evening’s schedule for the April 26 Keynote at IAC is as follows:
The Irving Arts Center is located at 3333 N MacArthur Blvd. For more information, call (972) 252-7558.