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Parents stashed in her closet

New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast chronicles her late parents' decline in her new graphic novel, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

BY way of introducing her parents, Roz Chast opened her closet door and rummaged through some stuff on the floor. This is where she keeps them, amid miscellaneous boxes and general bedroom marginalia: her mother's ashes in a maroon velvet pouch; her father's in the Channel 13 tote bag he took with him everywhere.

"I like having my parents in my closet," is how she explains it in her new graphic novel, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, which chronicles the pair's long, precipitous decline, starting from when her mother fell off a stepladder in 2005 to the time she died, in 2009 (Chast's father died in the middle of all that). "I think it makes a nice home for them." It is almost shocking...

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