Originally from New York (the suburbs, then the city), Lauren Elkin moved to Paris in 1999, settling here for good in 2004; since then she has spent varying periods of time in London, Venice, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Recently transplanted to the Right Bank after years on the Left, she now spends most of her time tramping around Belleville.
Her essays on books and culture have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the FT, and frieze and she is a contributing editor at The White Review. She tends to write on women’s writing, experimental poetics, life-writing, studies of place, and visual culture, especially photography. Her most recent book, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, is out in the UK from Chatto & Windus and Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US.
Flâneuse is a cultural history of women writers and artists who have found personal freedom as well as inspiration by engaging with cities on foot, and includes chapters on Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Sophie Calle, and Agnès Varda, among others.
The New York Times Book Review named it an Editor’s Choice, Radio 4 very kindly chose it as their Book of the Week, and it was selected as best book of 2016 by the Guardian, the Financial Times, the New Statesman, and the Observer. It is currently being translated into six languages.
“Well researched and larded with examples, this picaresque account of a picaresque longing successfully paints women back into the city… Elkin reboots the appetite to go walking and thinking in the city, which can only be a good thing.” Evening Standard
“The thoughtful urban stroller Lauren Elkin is a self-appointed heir to Woolf’s ‘street haunter’. A memoir, a travelogue and an eminently likeable work of literary criticism, Flaneuse is more like a song sung under Elkin’s breath. At its best, her book evokes reading aloud… reading your own life through the novels that form part of it.” Gaby Wood Daily Telegraph
“An intense meditation on what it means to be a women and walk out in the world. Flaneuse encourages its readers to lace up their shoes and go for a walk. Elkin lets the reader become a companion to many women who have thought seriously about the relationship between a woman and the path she chooses to tread.” Erica Wagner New Statesman
“This is a book about wandering women, the author included, who build relationships with their cities by walking through them . . . Women can and do
make feminist statements simply by strolling through their stomping grounds; Elkin creates an interesting and inarguable case for this. She, too, is a wanderer and provides compelling anecdotes about her own journeys, interspersed with those of literary heavy-hitters George Sand, Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf, and others . . . This is ultimately a celebration of women. You’ll want to take a stroll by the end” Library Journal