Roz Chast on Being Funny

Perhaps best known for her New Yorker cartoons, Roz Chast published a memoir last year, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? about her elderly parents’ illness and death. While she found writing her latest children's book, Around the Clock, comic relief, it isn't, Chast says in our interview today in The Washington Post, all so different from writing for adults.

Chast spoke about using humor in the memoir, in this section below which adds to today's Post story.

In your memoir, you describe a complicated family life with a lot of humor. Is that your coping mechanism?

I don’t know. I’m not objective enough. For me, this was what it was like. I wanted to describe my relationship with my parents, including how complicated it was. This wasn’t going to be some BS-y thing, -- it was difficult but we all embraced at the end and we all learned lessons about life. I didn’t learn any lessons about life. I wanted to tell it how it was. And we’re all going to experience this. Our bodies are going to give out.

Are you still holding the desire to “make it right” with your mother?

Yes. I think I probably always will, probably because I have kids and I get so much joy from those relationships. Sometimes it seems there’s a whole part of life that my mother missed. But my parents were proud of me, and I know they cared about me. And I imagine they knew I loved them. If I didn’t care about them, I wouldn’t have written the book.

A panel from "Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?"