Fran Lebowitz doesn’t suffer fools, banalities or bad furniture. But on Friday 2 March, the legendary humourist and cultural critic will suffer us for an evening of invigorating – and likely acerbic – conversation.
For decades, the iconic New Yorker has turned her caustic pen (she doesn’t do smartphones or computers) to the subject of America’s cultural, social and political landscape. Through her columns, books and public-speaking appearances, Lebowitz has scrutinised such phenomena as smoking (hugely in favour), men’s shorts (resolutely opposed) and presidential buffoonery (‘Ronald Reagan was the template for stupid presidents’).
Her work has appeared in Interview, Mademoiselle and Vanity Fair as well as in several acclaimed books of essays. She’s held a host of surprising odd jobs – including driving a taxi and appearing on Law & Order – and today is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.
At the Athenaeum Theatre, Lebowitz will appear briefly in conversation before presiding over a 60-minute audience Q&A. Brace yourself for an evening of culture, and conversation, bristling bon-mot and deadpan delivery.
This event has been made possible by the generous support of Margaret Jackson, Peter Jopling AM QC and Sam Mandeng, Naomi Milgrom AO and Carol Schwartz AM and Alan Schwartz AM.
Readings will be our bookseller at this event.
In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, 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, aftershave lotion, adults who roller-skate, children who speak French, or 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.
Lebowitz worked odd jobs, such as taxi driving, belt peddling and apartment cleaning ('with a small specialty in Venetian blinds'), before being hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview. That was 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. By turns ironic, facetious, deadpan, sarcastic, wry, wisecracking and waggish, Lebowitz’s prose is wickedly entertaining. Her two books are collected in the Fran Lebowitz Reader, with a new preface by the author. Lebowitz is also the author of the children’s book, Mr Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas.