Cover image for Hollywood's Eve : Eve Babitz and the secret history of L.A.
Title:
Hollywood's Eve : Eve Babitz and the secret history of L.A.
ISBN:
9781501125799
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Scribner hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, 2019.

©2019
Physical Description:
x, 277 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
"Written by one of Vanity Fair's rising stars, Hollywood's Eve is a pulp propulsive account of the birth, adolescence, and adulthood of 20th-century Hollywood through the vivid and unashamed life of Los Angeles-born glamour girl, bohemian, artist, muse, sensualist, wit and pioneering writer Eve Babitz"--Provided by publisher.
Summary:
An "account of the birth, adolescence, and adulthood of 20th-century Hollywood through the vivid and unashamed life of Los Angeles-born glamour girl, bohemian, artist, muse, sensualist, wit, and pioneering writer Eve Babitz"-- Provided by publisher.
Personal Subject:
Genre:
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Book 928.1 Babit
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Book 928.1 Babit
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On Order

Summary

Summary

"I practically snorted this book, stayed up all night with it. Anolik decodes, ruptures, and ultimately intensifies Eve's singular irresistible glitz." --Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

"The Eve Babitz book I've been waiting for. What emerges isn't just a portrait of a writer, but also of Los Angeles: sprawling, melancholic, and glamorous." --Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter

Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s was the pop culture capital of the world--a movie factory, a music factory, a dream factory. Eve Babitz was the ultimate factory girl, a pure product of LA.

The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Babitz posed in 1963, at age twenty, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph, cheesecake with a Dadaist twist, made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade rocking and rolling on the Sunset Strip, honing her notoriety. There were the album covers she designed: for Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, to name but a few. There were the men she seduced: Jim Morrison, Ed Ruscha, Harrison Ford, to name but a very few.

Then, at nearly thirty, her It girl days numbered, Babitz was discovered--as a writer--by Joan Didion. She would go on to produce seven books, usually billed as novels or short story collections, always autobiographies and confessionals. Under-known and under-read during her career, she's since experienced a breakthrough. Now in her mid-seventies, she's on the cusp of literary stardom and recognition as an essential--as the essential--LA writer. Her prose achieves that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, and is so sheerly enjoyable as to be mistaken for simple entertainment.

For Babitz, life was slow days, fast company until a freak fire in the 90s turned her into a recluse, living in a condo in West Hollywood, where Lili Anolik tracked her down in 2012. Anolik's elegant and provocative new book is equal parts biography and detective story. It is also on dangerously intimate terms with its subject: artist, writer, muse, and one-woman zeitgeist, Eve Babitz.


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Vanity Fair contributor Anolik (Dark Rooms) takes on the colorful story of Los Angeles It-Girl and writer Eve Babitz from her heyday in the 1960s and '70s to her unexpected literary emergence in 1974 with her novel Eve's Hollywood. Anolik, who fell in love with Babitz's work after reading her 1977 novel Slow Days, Fast Company decades later, tells readers that she "won't attempt to impose narrative structure and logic on life, which is (mostly) incoherent and irrational," and her book, while not chronological, is entertainingly anecdotal. Babitz-the daughter of Sol Babitz, first violinist for the 20th Century Fox orchestra, and artist Mae Babitz-grew up in a Hollywood Hills home that was visited by such L.A. luminaries as Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, and Fats Waller. After posing nude for Time photographer Julian Wasser in 1963 at age 20, Babitz achieved notoriety and hung out with artists (Andy Warhol, Salvador DalA-), politicians (Teddy Kennedy), and musicians (Jackson Browne, Stephen Stills, the Eagles). Anolik admiringly looks at Babitz's life, even while revealing careless accidents, such as incurring third-degree burns trying to light a cigar while driving. Perfect for fans of Hollywood in its glory years, this is a biography energetically told. (Jan) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Hollywood's Eve A Note, Slipped to the Reader Hollywood's Eve isn't a biography--at least not in the traditional sense. It won't attempt to impose narrative structure and logic on life, which is (mostly) incoherent and irrational, lived moment-by-moment and instinctively rather than by grand design and purposefully; or to provide explanations, which (mostly) dull and diminish; or to reach conclusions, which are (mostly) hollow and false. In other words, it doesn't believe, or expect you to, that facts, dates, timelines, firsthand accounts, verifiable sources tell the tale. Here's what Hollywood's Eve is: a biography in the nontraditional sense; a case history as well as a cultural; a critical appreciation; a sociological study; a psychological commentary; a noir-style mystery; a memoir in disguise; and a philosophical investigation as contrary, speculative, and unresolved as its subject. Here's what Hollywood's Eve is above all else: a love story. The lover, me. The love object, Eve Babitz, the louche, wayward, headlong, hidden genius of Los Angeles. A book can be infatuated--hopelessly, helplessly, heedlessly--same as a person. I'm telling you this not as a way of asking for allowances, but for understanding. In the following pages, things might get a little heated, a little weird, a little out of hand. Now you know why. Excerpted from Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L. A. by Lili Anolik All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.