Born in Brooklyn, New York, Roz Chast is the only child of two educators who subscribed to The New Yorker and inspired her art and world view – her strong-willed mother, Elizabeth, and her gentle, worrywart father, George, who were in the same fifth grade class. Chast studied painting and printmaking at Kirkland College in upstate New York, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design, but did not feel free to explore car- tooning fully until after graduation. Her earliest drawings were published in Christopher Street,The Village Voice, and later, National Lampoon.
In 1978, The New Yorker accepted her first submission, a small collection of “Little Things” that stood apart from the cartoons generally associated with the magazine. As a young artist, she gathered a collection of original drawings, “put them in a portfolio, and dropped it off with my little card. I came back to pick them up the next week and there was a note from the cartoon editor [Lee Lorenz], which completely floored me. He said to start coming back every week, so I did.” Since then, more than eight hundred of Chast’s artworks have been published by The New Yorker. Though she covers all manner of subjects in her art, she particularly enjoys drawing interior scenes, replete with elaborate wallpapers and furnishings – a conspiracy of inanimate objects” reminiscent of her early life. Chast’s cartoons have also appeared in Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, Redbook, and Mother Jones, among others.