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

Lili Anolik’s book about Eve Babitz (“… isn’t a biography… won’t attempt to impose narrative structure and logic on life, which is (mostly) incoherent and irrational, lived moment-by-moment and instinctively rather than by grand design…”) is a self-professed love story about her obsession with the amazing (and previously forgotten) writer, Eve. I’m thankful to have read a few of Babitz’s greatest books over the last two years and tempted to re-read them after this reminder of her wit and sparkle. What I enjoyed most of all was Anolik’s assertion that the previously crowned classics about L.A. (by Nathanael West and Joan Didion) should be tossed aside in favor of Eve’s glittering tome. Even Bret Easton Ellis agreed in an interview with the author, saying he considers Slow Days, Fast Company his favorite book about L.A., much looser and expansive than Didion’s rigid Play It As It Lays. Eve, having been given her break by Didion, never felt comfortable talking badly about her, but is clearly pleased when Anolik takes Didion down in an article for Vanity Fair.