In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, author, journalist, and social observer Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators. Her essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current events and the media, as well as pet peeves including tourists, baggage-claim areas, after-shave lotion, adults who roller skate, children who speak French, and anyone who is unduly tan. The New York Times Book Review calls Lebowitz an “important humorist in the classic tradition.” Purveyor of urban cool, Lebowitz is a cultural satirist whom many call the heir to Dorothy Parker.
By turns ironic, facetious, deadpan, sarcastic, wry, wisecracking, and waggish, Lebowitz’s prose is wickedly entertaining. She worked as a columnist for Andy Warhol’s Interview, followed by a stint at Mademoiselle. Her first book, a collection of essays titled Metropolitan Life, was a bestseller, as was a second collection, Social Studies. Her two books are collected in The Fran Lebowitz Reader, with a new preface by the author. A bestseller in the United Kingdom, it also is published in nine languages, including French, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish. Lebowitz also is the author of the children’s book, Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas.
Lebowitz’ on-screen credits include a recurring role as Judge Janice Goldberg on the television drama Law & Order, a part in the Martin Scorsese-directed film, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and guest appearances on various talk shows including those hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, and Bill Maher. She also can be seen in various documentary films, including the American Experience series on New York City, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (2016), Regarding Susan Sontag (2014), and Superstar: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol (1990). Martin Scorsese directed a documentary about Lebowitz for HBO titled Public Speaking and a limited documentary series, Pretend It’s a City, which was nominated for the 2021 Emmy Award® in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category. She has also received the Forte dei Marmi Festival della Satira Lifetime Achievement Award and was a Foreign Press Honorary Award. Named to Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 2008, Lebowitz remains a style icon. She lives in New York City, as she does not believe that she would be allowed to live anywhere else.
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