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Cartoonist Roz Chast And Writer Patricia Marx Put A Satirical Spin On Motherhood

New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast and New Yorker writer Patricia Marx are the best of friends.

“It’s going to sound incredibly corny,” Chast says, “but I have always enjoyed collaborating with Patty. We have a good time.”

The duo recently teamed up to create a collection of Marx’s mother’s sayings — accompanied by Chast’s hilarious illustrations — for their new comedic book, “Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It?: A Mother’s Suggestions.

At a sold-out show in Brookline, Massachusetts, the pair took the stage with Here & Now’s Robin Young to chat about the book, their decades-long friendship — and their mothers.

When Chast illustrated Marx’s first article — they were both about 23 years old at the time — it was Marx’s mom who would suggest she call up Chast to chat.

“It was as if her mother had set us up on a play date,” Chast says.

Chast explains that her mom, a principal and a guidance counselor, was “a bit of a battle axe.” She says if there was a family crisis happening, her first thought would be, “Oh no! Maybe I’ll draw this.”

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For Marx, she was convinced her mom was a witch — broomstick and all.

“I, for one, thought that my mother was a witch growing up, even though people liked her,” Marx says. “I just thought maybe when she yells at me to do my homework or something, I go, ‘Oh, a witch. There is no other explanation.’ ”

Both of them have taken up the ukulele, and ended the night singing an ode to their moms.

“Did I mention starting out that you’re grounded?” they sing, pretending to be their mothers, “cause all the pot, I found it. P.S. I love you.”

Illustrations From The Book


Robin Young and Emiko Tamagawa produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Tinku RaySerena McMahon adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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