Hollywood's Eve

Hollywood's Eve

Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A

Book - 2019
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"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."--
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, [2019]
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501125799
Branch Call Number: 813.54 B114A
Characteristics: x, 277 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Aug 06, 2019

"In every young man's life there is an Eve Babitz. It's usually Eve Babitz."


Eve Babitz, who is now 76 and still living in her beloved L.A., has been enjoying quiet a renaissance. Her books, including her two best works, "Eve's Hollywood" and "Slow Days, Fast Company," have been reissued, she's been the subject of multiple media profiles, and now here's a biography, although "not in the traditional sense," according to author Lili Anolik. I'd say all that's left is to make a film of her, but I can't imagine anyone qualified to play a character as singular as Eve. Just a few facts: her godfather was Igor Stravinsky, she designed album covers for Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, she convinced Steve Martin to wear a white suit, her conquests included Jim Morrison (one of her books is called "L.A. Woman") and Harrison Ford (before anyone knew who he was), she played chess naked with Marcel Duchamp. And she loved L.A. In that way she's kind of the anti-Joan Didion. If Didion was always outside looking in (and judging), Babitz was in the the white hot center. So she deserves a great book. This is not that book. It's not the gossipy tone I mind, but the mediocre, flat writing of Anolik, who first profiled Babitz for "Vanity Fair," and that Anolik keeps inserting herself into the story, as if we cared. We get it, you sort of became friends with Eve Babitz. So pick up Babitz's books instead of this. An ideal book about her would be a giant coffee table book with tons of pictures, excerpts from her writing, and maybe some essays by friends and admirers.

Feb 14, 2019

lili anolik talks trash. if you want to know about eve babitz read eve babitz.

Jan 28, 2019

There was a time (the 70s?) when I became aware that writing began to sound like talking. It did not have the reconsidering what was written. It was informal. Sometimes it sounded like gossip. Eve Babitz's writing did not sound like she had just said something out loud. Although it might have had a stream-of-consciousness feel, she was in complete control. It was gossipy, yet there was something that set it apart from gossip.

This biography and paean to Babitz is on the gossip level. It is all about talking and nothing else.


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