Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Fran Lebowitz

One of the first books with intellectual cachet (rather than merely intellectual pretensions, like me) to grace the collection of the Pop Culture Institute was a slim volume of razor-sharp insights into what would become the Yuppie lifestyle, Fran Lebowitz's superlative 1978 collection, Metropolitan Life. It's out of print now, but if you see it at least do yourself a favour and dip into it for an essay or two...

PhotobucketLebowitz got her start writing for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine which, since we all have to start somewhere, is pretty close to the top; she'd been expelled from high school for what she calls 'nonspecific surliness', and settled for a GED, so the fact that she's not only a writer but one whom people actually read is akin to a miracle - especially in this day and age of degree fascism.

Known as much for her distinctive wardrobe of bespoke suits as for her curmudgeonly demeanour, amazingly Lebowitz has only recently managed to overcome an 11 year bout with writer's block, during which time her repute as a writer grew in inverse proportion to her output. Supporting herself courtesy of an ever-increasing lecture circuit, she managed to produce Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas while grappling with her semi-mythical novel-in-progress Exterior Signs of Wealth.
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