Roz Chast
Roz chast 2007 (cropped).jpg
Roz Chast at the 2007 Texas Book Festival
BornRosalind Chast
(1954-11-26) November 26, 1954 (age 67)
Brooklyn, New York
AwardsHarvey Award Hall of Fame
Spouse(s)Bill Franzen

Rosalind 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, Comics Alliance 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

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 and Dartmouth College, 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 wall paper, to serve as the backdrop for her comics. Her comics reflect a "conspiracy of inanimate objects", an expression she credits to her mother.[7][8]

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".[9]

Her New Yorker cartoons began as small black-and-white panels, but increasingly used more color and often appear over several pages. Her first cover for The New Yorker was the August 4, 1986 issue.[10]

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.[11]

Chast is represented by the Danese/Corey gallery in Chelsea, New York City.[12]


Personal life

Chast lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut[17][18][19] with her husband, humor writer Bill Franzen.[20][21] They have two children.[22][23]



This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2011)

Articles and comic strips



  1. ^ Chast, Roz. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? (Bloomsbury, 2014).
  2. ^ "Contributors: Roz Chast". 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. ^ "The Gloriously Anxious Art of Roz Chast - Hadassah Magazine". 29 September 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  8. ^ Brockes, Emma (14 June 2014). "Life drawing to a close: my parents' final year". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Roz Chast : Cartoons : New Yorker Covers". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Roz Chast - Artists - Danese/Corey". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Roz Chast | Museum of the City of New York". Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ DHeck (2015-03-24). "Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs - Norman Rockwell Museum - The Home for American Illustration". Norman Rockwell Museum. Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  16. ^ "Roz Chast at the Contemporary Jewish Museum". Retrieved 2020-08-30.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Green, Penelope (26 October 2006). "For a Professional Phobic, the Scariest Night of All". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  19. ^ "VIDEO: Tour 'New Yorker' Staff Cartoonist Roz Chast's Connecticut Home and Studio - 6sqft". 6sqft. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  20. ^ "ROZ CHAST'S BIG DRAW". 18 July 1993. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via
  21. ^ "William Franzen - The New Yorker". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  22. ^ 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
  23. ^ Lyall, Sarah (30 April 2014). "Parents Safely in the Closet". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  24. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for Publishing Year 2014". National Book Critics Circle. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  25. ^ Alter, Alexandra (March 12, 2015). "'Lila' Honored as Top Fiction by National Book Critics Circle". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "The Heinz Awards: Roz Chast". The Heinz Awards. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  27. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (October 6, 2018). "2018 Harvey Award Winners Announced". Comics Beat.
  28. ^ Title in the online table of contents is "The cartoonist as junior-high student".
  29. ^ Chast, Roz (1982). Three small books. New York: Kathryn Markel. OCLC 10359089.
  30. ^ Chast, Roz; Plunkett, Stephanie Haboush; Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge (2015). Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs. OCLC 950267879.

Further reading