"Lauren Elkin is one of our most valuable critical thinkers - the Susan Sontag of her generation."
illustration by Konstantin Kakanias for the New York Times
Lauren Elkin is a writer and translator, most recently the author of Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art and the UK translator of Simone de Beauvoir's previously unpublished novel The Inseparables.
Art Monsters - an attempt to rethink the concept of the monstrous and to theorize a feminist aesthetics of the body - is out now in the UK and publishes in the US on 14 November 2023. Chris Kraus said it was "destined to become a new classic" and Lubaina Himid said "'You won't find anything like this history, told in this way, anywhere else." This work has been supported by a Silvers grant from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation, and rights have sold in several territories.
She is also the author of No. 91/92: Notes on a Parisian Commute (Semiotext(e)/Les Fugitives, 2021) and Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, which was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Notable Books of 2017, a Radio 4 Book of the Week, and a best book of 2016 by the Guardian, the Financial Times, the New Statesman, and the Observer. It has appeared in nine languages.
Current projects include a novel, Scaffolding (Chatto & Windus/FSG, 2024), a book about the female voice, a biography of Gertrude Stein, a translation of Marie-Laure Bernadac's biography of Louise Bourgeois (Yale UP, 2025), and translations of work by Colombe Schneck, Constance Debré, Lola Lafon, and more Simone de Beauvoir.
Her writings on books, art, and culture have appeared in a variety of publications including the London Review of Books, the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s, Le Monde, the Times Literary Supplement, Les Inrockuptibles, and Frieze, and her essay "This is the Beginning of Writing," published in the Sewanee Review, was awarded notable distinction in the Best American Essays of 2019, edited by Rebecca Solnit.
She holds a PhD in English from the City University of New York/Université de Paris, and an M.Phil in French from the Sorbonne, and has taught literature and creative writing at New York University, the American University of Paris, the University of Liverpool, and the Université de Paris-Denis Diderot.
Before becoming a writer, Lauren worked as an actor, a singer, a piano accompanist, an assistant at a literary agency, a copywriter at a Korean B2B telecommunications company, a barista, an office temp, a birthday party entertainer at Chuck E. Cheese, and an assistant at a public relations company, where Jennifer Lopez’s publicist once threw a phone at her head.
Originally from New York, she moved to Paris in 1999, and became a French citizen in 2015. She is currently based in London, where she lives with her partner and son.
For all projects, commissions, and enquiries, please contact Sarah Chalfant at the Wylie Agency: firstname.lastname@example.org