Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.

Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.

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.

Title:Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781501125799
Format Type:

About Lili Anolik

Lili Anolik is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Her work has also appeared in Harper's, Esquire, and The Believer, among other publications. Her book, Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A., will be published by Scribner in January 2019.


    Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. Reviews

  • Julie

    Hollywood's Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. by Lili Anolik is a 2019 Scribner publication. I read a lot of rock biographies, love pop culture, and know a fair amount of trivia from the ...

  • Tammy

    This is an expanded version of Anolik’s Vanity Fair article. There is a good bit of information about the author’s pursuit of Babitz and some interesting observations about Joan Didion. It’s a s...

  • Eleanore

    "On the one hand, how great, new fans for Eve, and who cares if they were fans for the wrong reasons, and is there such a thing as a wrong reason, and bless their ingenuous little hearts in any case. ...

  • Bree Hill

    I can’t remember the last time, if there ever was a time that I’ve read a biography and if this is in deed my first, I’m glad it was.I’ve never read anything by Eve Babitz. Shamefully, Sex and...

  • Meg

    WELL I READ THAT IN A SITTING.It seems like two summers ago, everyone on Bookstagram and on book Twitter was talking about Eve Babitz. The more I read about her from the people I followed, the more I ...

  • Britta Bhler

    More fan-nonfiction than a biography, but I found the mix of the author's personal point of view, interviews and biographical snippets very fitting for the subject in question, and also a highly enjoy...

  • Emma Kearney

    For all my feminism and constant work to undo internalized misogyny, I still struggle with unlikable women. Perhaps more than anything, I want to be likable. And I love to dole out compliments to my f...

  • Don

    This is a terrible book. It is about half gushing over over babitz and her at best mediocre writings as if they were creative gems and blistering the overrated Joan Didion, particularly for her Play I...

  • Lorri Steinbacher

    Guys, this book! It’s sex and art and celebrity before it was tainted by the internet. It’s 60’s and 70’s Hollywood. Names you know (Harrison Ford makes sense to me now) and names you won’t ...

  • Y (Bookiful.life)

    This was written by a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, who became obsessed with Babitz sometime before 2012. She became so fascinated with Babitz that she ended up doing a bunch of research on her ...