- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Scribner (8 January 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501125796
- ISBN-13: 978-1501125799
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. Hardcover – Import, 8 Jan 2019
Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged, Import
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“A swooning, sometimes madcap look at Babitz...compelling.” —The Washington Post
“Fills in many of the gaps in our knowledge of Babitz’s life and work...What Hollywood’s Eve has going for it on every page is its subject’s utter refusal to be dull… It sends you racing to read the work of Eve Babitz.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Anolik’s book brings a ludicrously glamorous scene back to life, adding a few shadows along the way to give Babitz’s sun-bleached biography more nuanced contours.” —Vogue
“Anolik’s fantasy Eve reflects Babitz’s brilliance at self-presentation.”—Harper’s
“Anolik now presents the full jaw-dropping drama of Babitz’s on-the-edge life and complicated personality, paired with an account of Anolik's pursuit of her wily subject. With the recent reissue of Babitz's books, this radical American writer of stunning verve, candor, and insight is truly a phoenix rising.” —Booklist
“A biography of a fascinating and unusual subject…at the heart of this book beats the hard, strong pulse of Babitz’s life and prose, one funny, erratic and unabashed sentence after another.”—Los Angeles Times
“The Eve Babitz story you've been looking for—a true page-turner about an icon of Los Angeles' 1960s art scene that'll satisfy your thirst for glitz, glam, and drama.”—Women’s Day
“[A] loving and perceptive new book on Babitz… [Babitz’s] unique and entertaining body of work is now crowned by Lili Anolik’s Hollywood’s Eve.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Vital and clarifying….wonderful.” —NPR.org
“Perfect for fans of Hollywood in its glory years, this is a biography energetically told.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] smart, fast-paced meditation on Babitz … Anolik sees her as ruthless, unencumbered, unapologetic. In other words, an artist.” —BookPage
“Hollywood’s Eve does not fit the mold of a biography—it’s a bona fide love story. Anolik achieves an incredible intimacy with her subject, who talks to almost no one these days.” —Kirkus Reviews
“From Joan Didion to Harrison Ford to Steve Martin, the book is chockablock with stories both salacious and soulful, exactly the kind of poetically enticing account (with just the right amount of tawdry) Babitz herself delivered so sharply.”—The AV Club
“There’s no doubt that Anolik is daffy for Babitz but she is also clear-eyed in her critical assessment and paints a portrait that is beyond smitten, always smart, and an awful lot of fun.” —Esquire
“An intimate biography of a glamorous writer and a portrait of the city she called her playground.” —Town & Country
“A dishy, splashy biography filled with more celebrity cameos than a table at the Polo Lounge.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Fascinating…it’s impossible not to be infatuated.” —Oprah Magazine
“Anolik has expanded her magazine piece into a book of her own, calling it ‘a biography in the non-traditional sense.’ But Hollywood’s Eve is richer and stranger than that.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Lili Anolik delves into the mysterious life of Eve Babitz in this revealing, anecdote-packed biography.” —InStyle
“Lili Anolik has hunted and captured her favorite forgotten author and helped to save Babitz’s long out-of-print books from the dustbin of cultural history. Now, like Babitz before her, she has created her own genre: fan nonfiction. In fevered, up-all-night-chain-smoking-at-the-Chateau prose perfectly suited to her subject, she excavates the lost world that Babitz so deftly wove into her autofiction.” —Karina Longworth, creator and host of You Must Remember This
“Read Lili Anolik’s book in the same spirit you’d read a new Eve Babitz, if there was one: for the gossip and for the writing. Both are extraordinary.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn
“The first injectable biography.” —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair columnist and author of Lucking Out
“There's no better way to look at Hollywood in that magic decade, the 1970s, than through Eve Babitz's eyes. Eve knew everyone, slept with everyone, used, amused, and abused everyone. And then there's Eve herself: a cult figure turned into a legend in Anolik's electrifying book. This is a portrait as mysterious, maddening-and seductive-as its subject.” —Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
“Lili Anolik's love letter to Eve Babitz is as probing and intelligent as it is outrageously fun, swirling with secrets and gossip, celebrity and art, feminism and literature and tragedy and sex and sex and sex. A glorious trip through the looking glass of a golden-age L.A., Hollywood’s Eve makes the case for Babitz as chronicler and muse of an era even as it paints an unsparing picture of its lost illusions.” —Joe Hagan, author of Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
“Let other writers worship at the banal altar of L.A. Thanatos; Anolik’s Eve is the fearless beating heart of L.A. Eros, and her inimitable voice comes alive in Anolik’s own lovingly warm and penetrating celebration of Babitz’s magnificent beauty, wildness and art.“ —Elizabeth Frank, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cheat and Charmer
About the Author
Lili Anolik is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Her work has also appeared in Harper’s, Esquire, and The Believer. She is the author of Hollywood's Eve and lives in New York City with her husband and two small sons.
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It also offers a vision of Los Angeles in line with Babitz’s novels: Anolik neither praises L.A. as the city of earthly delights nor condemns it with the fire and brimstone of a Didion novel. It is the land where everyone is on stage and some act their parts better than others. Both pink sunsets and Skid Row make their appearance. Those who think that the subtitle of the secret life of L.A. means only debauchery and decadence are in for a surprise.
And there is a certain unity between the work and Babitz’s own life and writings. This is prose and life at full speed: the glories of beautiful people, fabulous wealth and easy access to the full range of narcotics.
The author even explicitly confesses her infatuation with Babitz: the gorgeous girl from Hollywood High who slept with many A listers then turned to writing about both the joy and agony of the Hollywood fast life. The L.A. girl who could successfully act a part and then turn that part into her personality.
My only hesitancy about this book is that Eve Babitz’s life could be viewed very differently. Drug addiction, unfulfilled artistic promise and being pimped to powerful Hollywood suits are not exactly the features that most people would want in their lives. The fact that Babitz now spends her days listening to conservative talk radio and rarely meeting anyone outside a small inner circle also seems like a depressing coda for someone who was once the quintessential it girl.
But if one enjoys prose that captures the young Eve Babitz—both courtesan and writer—one is sure to be delighted by Hollywood’s Eve. Anolik states in the introduction that the story is less a factual biography and more an appreciation. Where truth ends and legends start is anyone’s call. I just wonder if, at root, the whole account is something of a Hollywood illusion. That behind the many men, money and artistry Babitz starred not in a comedy but in more of a tragedy. But to Lili Anolik she is an exemplar for the modern woman. The reader can determine the veracity of this for themselves.
To fill a whole book about very little requires talent and that is missing here. The same material is gone over and over.
The writing style is a third (forth) rate attempt at channeling Joan Didion.
I quit at a third of the way through. If you want to find out about Eve Babitz go to wikipedia and save your money.