Eve's Hollywood (New York Review Books Classics)

Eve's Hollywood (New York Review Books Classics)

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 1590178904

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Journalist, party girl, bookworm, artist, muse: by the time she’d hit thirty, Eve Babitz had played all of these roles. Immortalized as the nude beauty facing down Duchamp and as one of Ed Ruscha’s Five 1965 Girlfriends, Babitz’s first book showed her to be a razor-sharp writer with tales of her own. Eve’s Hollywood is an album of  vivid snapshots of Southern California’s haute bohemians, of outrageously beautiful high-school ingenues and enviably tattooed Chicanas, of rock stars sleeping it off at the Chateau Marmont. And though Babitz’s prose might appear careening, she’s in control as she takes us on a ride through an LA of perpetual delight, from a joint serving the perfect taquito, to the corner of La Brea and Sunset where we make eye contact with a roller-skating hooker, to the Watts Towers. This “daughter of the wasteland” is here to show us that her city is no wasteland at all but a glowing landscape of swaying fruit trees and blooming bougainvillea, buffeted by earthquakes and the Santa Ana winds—and every bit as seductive as she is. 

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school?” he asked. “Walking home . . .” I said. “I’ll walk you,” he said. “Oh.” The murky gumminess I had tried to join was now thrown into open chaos and splendid days. How could I have avoided everything that I had known all along? Aces’ starkness tripped me into real life so much that I would have forgotten to eat except that Louie brought us candy. The shadows in the rafters of the Polar Palace were knocked out by the noonday sun, which fell around us like a moat. When the bell rang for

asks Jimmy. There is a pause while the perfection of this idea is appreciated. Not only is there the miracle hope of reprieve, but there is also Evelyn Venable as a possibility on the other side. “She married her cameraman,” Jimmy imparts. “Jesus . . . she was beautiful,” Eddie recalls, and we all think of her strange eyes until Eddie, the pure of heart, brings us back with “Do you think they’d let you have a double feature? Then you could see ‘Lassie Come Home’ too.” Only I remember the

And besides, you can’t go mountain climbing or on other adventures when you’ve got all these people in back of you trying to decide who’s going in whose car. It is the girl who fled whom I remember, the one who skipped town when she saw something she was not about to acquire a taste for no matter how ingenuous it would make her or how much everyone would remember her in Schwab’s 36 years later. And though her lesson seems trifling, I’d advise anyone who’ll believe me to avoid pain they don’t

room, where I had a cigarette and stuffed tissue paper into my pants to be on the safe side. Feeling more confident, I stood on the steps in front of the Administration Building, struggling in my overcrowded purse to find my sunglasses before walking up Highland to Hollywood Blvd. to take the bus, for the last time, home from school. My purse was full of its usual scandalous reading material, cigarettes, contraception and make-up as I stood beneath the hot August smoggy sun unshaded by the

without chili he’d die. My friend Connie is a very sleek, dark, fashion girl who lends fastidious elegance to everything she touches so that no one would guess when looking at her that she is an L.A. Mexican who can’t go a month without chili, and not just chile—chorizo—a Mexican sausage made out of pork and garlic and rough spices. You put it on scrambled eggs and go to heaven. “I have to have it,” she told me, lifting her ladylike fork to her mouth in a subdued chic restaurant. “Things just

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