With a hit Netflix series and The Fran Lebowitz Reader now published in the UK, the American wit talks about failing to write, her dislike of Andy Warhol and her best friend Toni Morrison
Fran Lebowitz is a famous writer who famously doesn’t write. “I’m really lazy and writing is really hard and I don’t like to do hard things,” she says, and it’s the rare writer who would not have some sympathy with that. Yet, as all writers also know, writer’s block, which the 70-year-old has suffered from for four decades now, is never really about laziness. Lebowitz’s editor Erroll McDonald (“the man with the easiest job in New York”) has said she suffers from “excessive reverence for the written word”.
Given that Lebowitz has, at last count, more than 11,000 of them in her apartment, there is no question that she loves books. “I would never throw away a book – there are human beings I would rather throw out of the window,” she says. So is this talk of “excessive reverence” a euphemistic way of saying that she has low self-esteem and doesn’t think she can write anything good enough to commit to print?