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Fran Lebowitz

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Frances Ann "Fran" Lebowitz (born October 27, 1950) is an American author[2] and public speaker.[3] Lebowitz is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities.[4] Some reviewers have called her a modern-day Dorothy Parker.[5]

Life and career

Lebowitz was born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey.[6]

After being expelled from high school and receiving a GED, Lebowitz worked in many odd jobs before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview.[7] This was followed by a stint at Mademoiselle.[8] Her first book was a collection of essays titled Metropolitan Life, released in 1978,[5] followed by Social Studies in 1981,[5] both of which are collected in The Fran Lebowitz Reader.[9]

She has been known, in part, for Exterior Signs of Wealth, a long-overdue, unfinished novel,[6] purportedly about rich people who want to be artists, and artists who want to be rich.[2] She also made several appearances on Late Night with David Letterman[6] and had a recurring role as Judge Janice Goldberg on the television drama Law & Order from 2001 to 2007.[4]

A heavy smoker, Lebowitz is known for her advocacy of smokers' rights.[6][10][11]

In September 2007, Lebowitz was named one of the year's most stylish women in Vanity Fair's 68th Annual International Best-Dressed List;[12] she is known for wearing several distinctive pieces:

On November 17, 2010, she returned to The Late Show with David Letterman after a 16-year absence. She discussed her years-long writer's block, which she jokingly referred to as a "writer's blockade." On November 22, 2010, HBO debuted Public Speaking, a documentary about her by Martin Scorsese containing interviews and clips from speaking engagements.[14]

Lebowitz's upcoming book, Progress, was first excerpted in Vanity Fair in 2004[15] and in 2012 had a 2015 publication date.[16]

An automobile enthusiast, in 2011 Lebowitz owned and drove a vintage pearl gray 1979 Checker Marathon, which she kept in the East Village in Manhattan.[17]

Books

 

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