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On Fran Lebowitz

The World's Laziest Writer

by Andrea Siegel           

I would have never thought that one day my desktop background would feature a cartoon image of a 70 year old woman wearing tortoise-shell glasses who describes herself as the laziest person in the world and who also confesses to be constantly annoyed by everything and everyone, particularly tourists, young people, buses, digital devices, non-smoking areas, the microwave, eating in her own apartment and sports.

Every morning, when I open my laptop and look at Fran Lebowitz’s sneer on her wrinkled face, I smile and feel 100% motivated to start my working day. Drinking my black coffee, I think about how much this writer is in tune with herself and I instantly feel inspired and hopeful by her charismatic persona.

Her integrity is exemplary, her strength and openness are formidable. The clever and intelligent ways she conveys meaningful and important messages should be taught in class. Fran is not only entertaining and educational but also an empowering and influential role model.

This is of course a bit ironic because Frances herself has been suffering from a “writer’s blockade” for over 20 years and has not published anything since the ‘90s.

Naturally, irony is very much part of this designated New York author’s charm.
Nowadays she makes her living by public speaking (mostly online and remotely, of course) and everything she says is informative, humorous, witty and thought-provoking. 

Listening to her feels refreshing, inspiring and stimulating not only to writers but to anybody who is looking for an odd, yet strangely reasonable and logical perspective with a hint of sarcasm.


Illustration The New Yorker

This plain-speaking, honest, witty author was brought up by Jewish parents in the 1960's America and was particularly told not to even try to be funny. Yet, Fran could not help her nature and became a well-known journalist and author by the 1980's after having published several articles and couple of books: Metropolitan Life (1978) and Social Studies (1981); both are collections of humorous essays about life and people in New York.

Since then, due to her writer's block, Fran has not been able to write much but she is an expert stay-at-home “lounger” and a real bookworm going through the books from her enormous collection containing over 11,000 items. She loves staying indoors and prefers solitude but is also a very social intellectual who misses seeing her famous friends since being confined to her NYC apartment. 

Currently, Fran is looking forward to be able to eat out again as she is convinced that her own cooking is the worst in the world. Except for the coffee she makes every morning, which is the best — according to herself.

Good food and music are also of great value to Lebowitz who believes that both are capable to evoke memories and emotions that bring intense, long-lasting pleasure to human beings.

On the other hand, sports, particularly boxing are not her favourite.


She is considered to be a gay icon and advocate by which she is the most surprised because she never understood "why so many gays would want to be straight and marry", for example. Personal freedom is another pillar for Fran Lebowitz who thinks marriage is overly restrictive and no-one should even consider it.

She is also against hugging people and finds forgiveness pointless. Lebowitz proudly proclaims herself as somebody being able to hold serious grudges; always being “the smaller person” despite of what her mother had always told her. She is unapologetic, shares her unfiltered opinion on everything with everyone in such a courageous, intelligent and humorous way that it can only add value to our lives and bring joy to many of us.

Fran Lebowitz is Never Leaving New York (2020)

Fran Lebowitz: “I am really not a Contrarian” (2021)