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The Arts

Roz Chast to speak in Brattleboro

Exhibition of New Yorker cartoonist’s original drawings on display at BMAC

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center announces a much-anticipated talk by The New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, author of the widely acclaimed graphic novel, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Chast will speak about her work, life, and career, in connection with BMAC’s exhibition of 139 original drawings from her graphic novel, on display at the museum until Sept. 24. The event will take place at the Brattleboro Music Center on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m.

BMAC’s doors will be open until 7 p.m. that evening, to allow event goers a chance to see Chast’s installation prior to her talk.

Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, with a $5 discount for BMAC members. Reservations are strongly recommended. To purchase tickets, or to become a member of the museum, call 802-257-0124, ext. 101, or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

Chast’s graphic novel is a cartoon memoir that tells the story of her experiences with her aging parents.

Dedicated professional educators before their retirement, Elizabeth and George Chast were temperamentally dissimilar but intensely devoted to one another. Chast’s poignant tale, punctuated by moments of hilarity, traces their physical and cognitive decline, from “The Beginning of the End” to “The End,” examining the complexities of her relationship with them through the years.

“I didn’t want to forget how [my parents] talked, and I didn’t want to forget how they were,” Chast said. “Some of the stories that emerged were hilarious, but also heartbreaking, and they became a record of my experience with them. To know that others felt the book meant something to them — I’m very happy about that.”

Chast grew up in Brooklyn and loved to draw from the time she was a child. She attended Rhode Island School of Design and majored in painting, thinking that it seemed more artistic than illustration. After graduating from college, she began drawing again and never stopped.

In addition to her regular cartoons in The New Yorker, Chast’s illustrations have been published in Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, Redbook, and Mother Jones. Chast also illustrated The Alphabet from A to Y, with Bonus Letter, Z, the best-selling children’s book by Steve Martin.

A 2014 National Book Award Finalist for Non-Fiction, Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? won the prestigious National Book Critics’ Circle Award for autobiography and the Kirkus Prize for nonfiction. The memoir and its author were recognized in 2015 with a Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities.

The exhibition of Chast’s artwork at BMAC is part of “Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs,” organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #470 (Wednesday, August 1, 2018). This story appeared on page B1.

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