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June 07, 1985 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-06-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, June 7, 1985

25

FRAN-KLY
SPEAKING

Despite the success
of her two books,
author Fran
Lebowitz is still
apprehensive about
writing as a career.

IF

BY HEIDI PRESS
Local News Editor

ran Lebowitz is a no-
nonsense lady. She
speaks directly to a ques-
tion, dresses like a pre-
ppie sans make-up and
smokes like a chimney.
If you can survive the barbs
of her sarcasm, and most can,
you'll find that she's also a very
funny lady — critical, but funny.
The author of two books and
numerous magazine articles,
Lebowitz was in Detroit recently
as the luncheon speaker for the
Shaarey Zedek Woman's World
program.
Her attitude is much to be re-
ckoned with: She's bitingly sar-
castic, economizes on answers to
questions and seems to take a
gloomy view of life. But, when she
comes back with a quip or a one-
liner, you know she's not wallow-
ing in sadness.
Lebowitz began as a disgrun-
tled youth. She was not a fan of
going to school and found herself
in detention many times. "I
stayed after school all my life. I
was 14 before I learned that
school didn't end at 6 p.m." She
said that school was interfering
with her education.
Ironically, she fell into a pro-
fession that is similar to going to
school. "I've chosen a profession

Benyas-Kaufman

44.

with virtually a lifetime of
homework. You cannot write a
book the night before it's due."
Writing is her thing — when
she gets around to it. A previous
contributor to Mademoiselle mag-
azine, she has fallen out of favor
with the company for having
trouble meeting deadlines. She
said that writing frightens her, so
why did she choose it as a profes-
sion?
. "I was a taxi driver. This is a
much better gig. It's the only
other marketable skill I have."
The advantage to being a writer,
she says, is working at home.
She admits to being lazy and
attributes a combination of "sloth
and fear" to her non-writing
periods.
Nevertheless, Lebowitz is
working on a novel, tentatively ti-
tled Exterior Signs of Wealth. Her
first two books, Metropolitan Life
and Social Studies, were social
commentaries enhanced with
humor. She says her new book is
also a social commentary, but it
takes a different route. "I can
take advantage of social criticism
and put it in the mouths of other
people."
She started writing as a child,
having written a novel in elemen-

Continued on Page 28

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