cover image Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.

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

Lili Anolik. Scribner, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5011-2579-9

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 Dalí), 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)