Books by Eve Babitz
No one burned hotter than Eve Babitz. Possessing skin that radiated "its own kind of moral laws," spectacular teeth, and a figure that was the stuff of legend, she seduced seemingly everyone who was anyone in Los Angeles for a long stretch of the 1960s and '70s. One man proved elusive, however, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. Slow Days, Fast Company is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California that far exceeds its mash-note premise. In ten sun-baked, Santa Ana wind-swept sketches, Babitz re-creates a Los Angeles of movie stars distraught over their success, socialites on three-day drug binges holed up in the Chateau Marmont, soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow's script will kill them off, Italian femmes fatales even more fatal than Babitz. And she even leaves LA now and then, spending an afternoon at the house of flawless Orange County suburbanites, a day among the grape pickers of the Central Valley, a weekend in Palm Springs where her dreams of romance fizzle and her only solace is Virginia Woolf. In the end it doesn't matter if Babitz ever gets the guy--she seduces us.
"Journalist, party girl, bookworm, muse, artist: by the time she'd hit thirty, Eve Babitz had been all of these things. Immortalized as the nude beauty facing Duchamp over a chessboard and as one of Ed Ruscha's Five 1965 Girlfriends, it turns out that Babitz was a writer with stories of her own. In Eve's Hollywood she gives us indelible snapshots of southern California's haute bohemians, of surpassingly lovely high school ingenues ("people with brains went to New York and people with faces came West") and enviably tattooed Chicanas, of burnt-out rock stars in the Chateau Marmont. In her deceptively conversational prose, we are brought along on a ride through an LA of perpetual delight: to a joint serving the perfect taquito, to the corner of La Brea and Sunset where we make eye contact with a rollerskating hooker, through the Watts Towers, and shopping at Central Market. This "daughter of the wasteland" is here to show us that her city is no wasteland at all, but a glowing landscape, swaying with fruit trees and bougainvillea, buffeted by earthquakes and Santa Ana winds. By the end, there is little doubt that Babitz herself is proof there's more to Hollywood than meets the eye"