Hollywood's Eve (Nonfiction)

Publisher -- Simon & Schuster: Scribner

Release Date -- January 8, 2019


Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s was the pop cultural capital of the world—a movie factory, a music factory, a dream factory. Eve Babitz was the ultimate factory girl, a pure product of L.A.

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. She was a sun-kissed Edie Sedgwick.

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. 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. And yet, during her career, Babitz was under-known and under-read. She’s since experienced a breakthrough, and is now, twenty years after her last published work, on the cusp of literary stardom, and recognition as a, as the, essential L.A. writer.

For Babitz, life was slow days, fast company until a freak fire in the 90s turned her into a recluse, living 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.

Product Details

  • ISBN 13: 9781501125799

  • ISBN 10: 1501125796

  • Imprint: Scribner



Critical Praise for Hollywood’s Eve

We love Eve Babitz because she was insatiable, and because she makes us feel insatiable in return. I practically snorted this book, stayed up all night with it. But Lili Anolik also brings us through the comedown, the previously unseen conclusions — she 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
Lili Anolik’s Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. may be the first injectable biography—it delivers a sustained rush and a complicated payload of gossip, insight, comedy, catastrophe, ‘squalid overboogie,’ and rock god/movie star lore. Exploring the life, countless loves, and literary luminance of a muse, artist, and all-around babe who went from L.A. scene maker to near-total recluse, Hollywood’s Eve is as fizzy and one-of-a-kind as its heroine. It’ll leave you pleasurably dazed.
— James Wolcott, Vanity Fair columnist and author of Lucking Out
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
If there is a fresher, more vibrant voice than Lili Anolik’s out there, I don’t know of it. She is a true original and therefore she is the perfect biographer of another true original, Eve Babitz, the ‘it’ girl of the sun-baked noir of Hollywood in the 60s and 70s.
— Graydon Carter
In Hollywood’s Eve, an extraordinarily felicitous meeting of subject and biographer, Lili Anolik truly gets Eve Babitz: her canny deadpan wit, her refreshingly guilt-free acceptance of appetite in all its forms, her profound and wise instinctiveness about people, and her delectable prose conjurings of L.A.’s unsung treasures and pleasures. 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
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
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
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