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November 26: Roz Chast

Lawrence Bush
November 26, 2016
Cartoonist Roz Chast was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1954. She has published more than 800 cartoons in the New Yorker since 1978, mostly dealing with the trials of domesticity and modern life, and often spoofing -- with a sense of befuddlement and quiet paranoia -- the trendy, the hyped, the glamorous, and the artificial. Chast also draws cartoons for Scientific American and the Harvard Business Review, and has illustrated more than a dozen books (including our Esther Cohen’s Don’t Mind Me and Other Jewish Lies). Her portrait of her elderly parents, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. “I think of my drawing style like handwriting: it’s a mix of whatever handwriting you’re born with, plus bits and pieces you’ve pilfered from other people around you. . . . I love detail, like drawing what’s on top of someone’s coffee table. Maybe there’s a little bowl of butterscotch candies on it, next to the four TV remotes.” --Roz Chast

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.