I Must Be Dreaming
I Must Be Dreamingdelighted me from beginning to end. Chast’s illustrations are imbued with zany charm as she relays both wild and mundane dreams, giving us a peek into the subconscious of one of our most beloved cartoonists.
A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A New Yorker Best Book of the Year
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
A Washington Post Best Graphic Book of the Year
#1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast’s new graphic narrative, exploring the surreal nighttime world inside her mind—and untangling one of our most enduring human mysteries: dreams.
Ancient Greeks, modern seers, Freud, Jung, neurologists, poets, artists, shamans—humanity has never ceased trying to decipher one of the strangest unexplained phenomena we all experience: dreaming. Now, in her new book, Roz Chast illustrates her own dream world, a place that is sometimes creepy but always hilarious, accompanied by an illustrated tour through “Dream-Theory Land” guided by insights from poets, philosophers, and psychoanalysts alike. Illuminating, surprising, funny, and often profound, I Must Be Dreaming explores Roz Chast’s newest subject of fascination—and promises to make it yours, too.
Praise for I Must Be Dreaming
"It perhaps comes as no surprise that the cartoonist Roz Chast—into whose unique and zany mind readers of The New Yorker have peeked, via her instantly recognizable, beloved cartoons—has some weird dreams. Now, fans can see these dreams illustrated, along with an exploration into the history and meaning of dreams as we know them." - The New Yorker, "Best Books of the Year"
"We give ourselves blissfully over to Chast as our tour guide through the ‘Dream District of our brains.’ Drawing in her familiar vibratory style, she details a bizarre series of oneiric adventures, including one in which Glenn Close’s ‘chest and face were covered with thousands of baby spiders,’ and another in which she has to care for a murderous ‘baby from the future.’" - Washington Post, Best Graphic Novels of 2023
"[Chast] has proved herself to be one of the funniest and most acute observers of modern urban living's insanities and anxieties. Now she has turned her gaze away from the streets and characters of her beloved New York City and toward her own sleeping mind . . . But Chast is Chast, and the sleeping world she depicts is only somewhat more absurd – and equally as funny and profound – as waking life." - David Marchese, New York Times Magazine
"The cartoon chronicler of urban neurosis sketches scenes from her nocturnal imagination (food plays an outsize part) and wryly chews on the many theories of what the mind does when our eyes close. It’s a little odds-and-endsy, but a pleasurable rummage nonetheless." - New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice
"This Halloween, why not give Linus and Lucy a rest for Wallace and Roz? Chast’s dreams are a window cracked open onto her creative process; a grab bag of treats more salty than sweet." - Alexandra Jacobs, New York Times Book Review
"Inspired." - The New York Times, "33 Nonfiction Books to Read This Fall"
"There’s nothing more boring than someone else’s dreams—unless that someone is cartoonist Roz Chast. Among the conjurings of her sleeping mind: a leprechaun with a unibrow, helium hairspray, and an encounter with a spider-covered Glenn Close. Nighttime dullards, the pressure is on." - People Magazine
"Delightful . . . I Must Be Dreaming demonstrates that Chast has figured out a way to catch and release her dreams — transforming them in the process into yet another charmingly relatable book. "- Heller McAlpin, NPR.org
"My mom and I used to joke that Roz Chast must have installed surveillance cameras in our house – how else could her New Yorker cartoons hit so close to home? Well, the tables have turned, and now we get a behind-the-scenes tour of Chast’s unconscious in her illustrated compendium of dreams . . . The book is a bizarre field trip into someone else’s head – and great fun for anyone curious about what our minds are up to after we close our eyes." - NPR, "Books We Love"
“[Chast] can make any subject more fun … If humankind can imagine it, she can draw it, and she does so in ways that are as enlightening as they are entertaining.” - Bust Magazine
“Perhaps the chief delight of Chast’s memoir is that while many experience this kind of exotic dream life, few of us would be able to render it so vividly on the page . . . Chast . . . proves herself to be a genius in these artfully weird and wonderful pages. "- Jewish Book Council
"I Must Be Dreaming beautifully illustrates the essentially playful nature of dreaming. Rather than analyzing or interpreting the dreams, Chast lets the vibrant images do the talking. Her cartoons create a delightful visual world in which others can share her amazement at the wonders of the human imagination." - Psychology Today
"Roz Chast gives us a deeply personal (and, naturally, hilarious) view of the meaning of her own dreams and their influence on her work, in cartoon form, of course. Includes a fascinatingly nerdy section on the history of dreaming and dream interpretation, across many cultures." - Anne Peck, The Southern Bookseller Review
"Amid the comic relief, there is profound vulnerability and anxiety playing out in weird and wild scenarios . . . I Must Be Dreaming is your ticket to the dreamland of a genius. Go willingly." - New York Journal of Books
"Pleasant, sometimes unsettling and occasionally poignant. It's a work of causal erudition, funny in a gentle way . . . Chast is a treasure." - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Delightful . . . Chast perfectly captures the weird joy of dreaming—an act that is both universal and deeply personal." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Wide-ranging and thoroughly charming . . . Truly fascinating, frequently hilarious, and not to be missed." - Library Journal, starred review
"Chast is a genius at mining her life for bits she can exaggerate into comedic gold, expertly portraying relatable emotions to her reader . . . I Must Be Dreaming takes Chast’s legion of fans on yet another uproarious, touching and zany ride." - BookPage, starred review
"Illustrations and visual storytelling weave together a broad range of content on dreams that offers insight while never feeling burdensome or overly analytical. Easy on the eyes and witty, this book will have readers reaching for their own dream journals. A sharp compendium of dreamy visions that could only have come from the iconic cartoonist’s sleeping mind." - Kirkus Reviews
"[A] laugh-out-loud funny tour through [Chast’s] dream journal, as well as a brief introduction to dream theory . . . The book delightfully captures the randomness of dream topics and dialogues. The handwriting font and full-color illustrations are vibrant and lend a congenial intimacy." - Shelf Awareness
"Sure to appeal to nonfiction comics readers and dream-theory enthusiasts alike. " - Booklist
"I Must Be Dreaming is Roz Chast at her chastiest, serving up cartoons direct from the source of her apparently vintage chintz-upholstered unconscious. They reduced me repeatedly to spasms of laugh-crying. Indeed, I imagine Freud and Jung are not only spinning in their graves right now, they are peeing their pants. "- Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and The Secret to Superhuman Strength
"You will laugh constantly while reading Roz Chast’s dreamy new book. You might also tear up. It’s profoundly reassuring to be reminded that the deep emotional mysteries of life are there waiting whenever we shut our eyes, and even more reassuring to remember that they can be so hilarious." - Liana Finck, author of Let There Be Light and Passing Human
"Chast treks with extraordinary candor and vulnerability through the maze of her own psyche, mapping out our own in the process." - Maria Popova, The Marginalian