Roz Chast

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Roz Chast
Chast in 2007
Born (1954-11-26) November 26, 1954 (age 69)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
AwardsHarvey Award Hall of Fame
Spouse(s)Bill Franzen

Roz Chast (born November 26, 1954)[1] is an American cartoonist and a staff cartoonist[2] for The New Yorker. Since 1978, she has published more than 800 cartoons in The New Yorker. She also publishes cartoons in Scientific American and the Harvard Business Review.

In recognition of her work, ComicsAlliance listed Chast as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition.[3] She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2010.[4] In May 2017, she received the Alumni Award for Artistic Achievement at the Rhode Island School of Design commencement ceremony.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Chast grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, the only child of George Chast, a high school French and Spanish teacher, and Elizabeth, an assistant principal in an elementary school. Her Jewish parents were children during the Great Depression, and she has spoken about their extreme frugality.[6] She graduated from Midwood High School in Brooklyn, and attended Kirkland College (which later merged with Hamilton College). She studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in painting in 1977. She also holds honorary doctorates from Pratt Institute, Dartmouth College, and the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University;[7] and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Chast's subjects often deal with domestic and family life. In a 2006 interview with comedian Steve Martin for the New Yorker Festival, Chast revealed that she enjoys drawing interior scenes, often involving lamps and accentuated wallpaper, to serve as the backdrop for her comics. Her comics reflect a "conspiracy of inanimate objects", an expression she credits to her mother.[8][9]

Her first New Yorker cartoon, Little Things, was sold to the magazine in April 1978. The cartoon, which Chast describes as "peculiar and personal", shows a small collection of "Little Things"—strangely-named, oddly-shaped small objects such as "chent", "spak", and "tiv".[10]

Her New Yorker cartoons began as small black-and-white panels, but increasingly used more color and often appeared over several pages. Her first cover for The New Yorker was the August 4, 1986 issue.[11]

Chast has written or illustrated more than a dozen books, including Unscientific Americans, Parallel Universes, Mondo Boxo, Proof of Life on Earth, The Four Elements and The Party After You Left: Collected Cartoons 1995–2003 (Bloomsbury, 2004). In 2006, Theories of Everything: Selected Collected and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978–2006 was published, collecting most of her cartoons from The New Yorker and other periodicals. One characteristic of her books is that the "author photo" is always a cartoon she draws of, presumably, herself. The title page, including the Library of Congress cataloging information, is also hand-lettered by Chast.[citation needed]

Her book, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is a graphic memoir, combining cartoons, text, and photographs to tell the story of an only child helping her elderly parents navigate the end of their lives.[12]

Chast is represented by Carol Corey Fine Art in Kent, Connecticut. [13]

Personal life[edit]

Chast lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut[14][15][16] with her husband, humor writer Bill Franzen.[17][18] They have two children.[19][20]




Articles and comic strips[edit]

  • Chast, Ros (November 8, 2010). "Leo Cullum". The Talk of the Town. Postscript. The New Yorker. 86 (35): 30.
  • — (November 8, 2010). "Bananas". Shouts & Murmurs. The New Yorker. 86 (35): 40.
  • — (July 20, 2015). "Back-yard bird talk". Shouts & Murmurs. The New Yorker. 91 (20): 29.
  • — (July 25, 2016). "Epilogue". Sketchbook. The New Yorker. 92 (22): 44–45.[a]
  • — (December 28, 2020). "A cartoonist's life". Comics. The New Yorker. 96 (42): 33.[b]
  • — (June 21, 2021). "Father's Day". Sketchbook. The New Yorker. 97 (17): 63.[c]
  • — (September 12, 2022). "Food 'poems'". Sketchbook. The New Yorker. 98 (28): 39.[d]


  • Chast, Ros (1979). Last resorts. New York City: Ink Inc.
  • — (1982). Unscientific Americans. Dial.
  • — (1982). Three small books. New York: Kathryn Markel.
  • — (1984). Parallel universes : cartoons. Harper.
  • — (1985). Poems and songs. Ink Inc.
  • Mondo Boxo (Harper, 1987) ISBN 9780060157951
  • The Four Elements (Harper, 1988) ISBN 9780708847817
  • Proof of Life on Earth (Harper, 1991) ISBN 9780060968861
  • Childproof (Hyperion, 1997) ISBN 9780786862443
  • The Party, After You Left (Bloomsbury, 2004) ISBN 9781632861078
  • Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons, 1978-2006 (Bloomsbury, 2008) ISBN 9781596915404
  • Too Busy Marco (Atheneum, 2010) ISBN 9781442440708
  • What I Hate: From A to Z (Bloomsbury, 2011) ISBN 9781608196890
  • A Friend for Marco (Atheneum, 2012) ISBN 9781416984757
  • Marco Goes to School (Atheneum, 2012) ISBN 9781416984757
  • Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury, 2014) ISBN 9781608198061
  • Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs (Norman Rockwell Museum, 2015)[e]
  • Around the Clock (Atheneum, 2015) ISBN 9781416984764
  • The Best American Comics 2016 (editor) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016) ISBN 9780544750357
  • Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York (Bloomsbury, 2017) ISBN 9781632869784
  • Marx, Patricia. You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time (illustrated by Roz Chast), (New York: Celadon Books, 2020)
  • I Must Be Dreaming (Bloomsbury, 2023) ISBN 9781620403228


  1. ^ Online version is titled "Epilogue : time to say goodbye".
  2. ^ Title in the online table of contents is "The cartoonist as junior-high student".
  3. ^ Online version is titled "A Coney Island Father’s Day memory".
  4. ^ Online version is titled "A few food 'poems'".
  5. ^ Chast, Roz; Plunkett, Stephanie Haboush; Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge (2015). Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs. OCLC 950267879.


  1. ^ Chast, Roz. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury, 2014).
  2. ^ "Contributors: Roz Chast". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 9 December 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  3. ^ "A Life's Work: 12 Women Who Deserve Lifetime Achievement Recognition". Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  4. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  5. ^ "Roz Chast Accepts Alumni Award". Our RISD. May 1, 2017. Archived from the original on July 22, 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  6. ^ Fresh Air with Terry Gross, December 30, 2014: Interview with Roz Chast; Interview with Louis C.K. National Public Radio (U.S.) WHYY, Inc. December 30, 2014. OCLC 958462415. [at 20:51] My parents were born in 1912. They grew up in the Depression, or graduated from college into the Depression. They kept notebooks where they kept track of every nickel that they spent. And these habits of frugality, from having grown up so poor, to having graduating in the Depression, never left them. They were frugal, they were very careful about money, they used everything up. I remember, my mother would take slivers of soap and put them in a washcloth, and then sew this little soap bag out of the slivers of soap. She made a bathrobe out of towels that she sewed together. Audio (MP3)
  7. ^ a b c d The Masters Series: Roz Chast exhibition catalogue (New York: School of Visual Arts, 2018).
  8. ^ "The Gloriously Anxious Art of Roz Chast - Hadassah Magazine". 29 September 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  9. ^ Brockes, Emma (14 June 2014). "Life drawing to a close: my parents' final year". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  10. ^ Mankoff, Robert (2015-10-06). How about never--is never good for you? : my life in cartoons (First Picador ed.). New York. p. 174. ISBN 9781250062420. OCLC 931942492.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  11. ^ "Roz Chast : Cartoons : New Yorker Covers". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  12. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (5 May 2014). "Confronting the Inevitable, Graphically: A Memoir by Roz Chast, in Words and Cartoons". The New York Times > Books of The Times. New York. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  13. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Kurutz, Steven (31 October 2009). "Bill Franzen and the New Yorker's Roz Chast End a Halloween Tradition". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  15. ^ Green, Penelope (26 October 2006). "For a Professional Phobic, the Scariest Night of All". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  16. ^ "VIDEO: Tour 'New Yorker' Staff Cartoonist Roz Chast's Connecticut Home and Studio - 6sqft". 6sqft. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  17. ^ "ROZ CHAST'S BIG DRAW". 18 July 1993. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via
  18. ^ "William Franzen - The New Yorker". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  19. ^ Werris, Wendy (Apr 18, 2014). "Telling It Like It Is: Roz Chast". PW. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 October 2016. A version of this article appeared in the 04/21/2014 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Telling It Like It Is: Roz Chast
  20. ^ Lyall, Sarah (30 April 2014). "Parents Safely in the Closet". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  21. ^ "School of Visual Arts | SVA | New York City | Fine Arts and Graphic Design School in New York City". School of Visual Arts | SVA | New York City. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  22. ^ "Roz Chast at the Contemporary Jewish Museum". Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  23. ^ "Roz Chast | Museum of the City of New York". Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  24. ^ DHeck (2015-03-24). "Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs - Norman Rockwell Museum - The Home for American Illustration". Norman Rockwell Museum. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  25. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for Publishing Year 2014". National Book Critics Circle. January 19, 2015. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  26. ^ Alter, Alexandra (March 12, 2015). "'Lila' Honored as Top Fiction by National Book Critics Circle". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  27. ^ "The Heinz Awards: Roz Chast". The Heinz Awards. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  28. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (October 6, 2018). "2018 Harvey Award Winners Announced". Comics Beat.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]