Eve’s HollywoodEve Babitz
Words cannot express how much I love this collection. I read it every year and I always find something new to appreciate about it. Eve Babitz is commonly compared to Joan Didion, but I never understood it. In my opinion she is much more in line with Edith Wharton and Candace Bushnell, women who wrote savagely and frivolously, like pink stilettos, which is my favorite kind of writing. The difference being that they wrote about New York, and she wrote about L.A.
In the Depression, when most of them came here, people with brains went to New York and people with faces came West.
Of all her books, Slow Days Fast Company is probably her best, the most polished and to the point, but I like the messiness of Eve’s Hollywood. It feels like being 22 and sitting by the pool with your best friend over mojitos. Although I am originally from LA county, I did not appreciate the beauty of it while I was growing up, but I did after I read this book. It makes me homesick in the best possible way.
Culturally, L.A. has always been a humid jungle alive with seething L.A. projects that I guess people from other places just can’t see. It takes a certain kind of innocence to like L.A., anyway. It requires a certain plain happiness inside to be happy in L.A., to choose it and be happy here. When people are not happy, they fight against L.A. and say it’s a ‘wasteland’ and other helpful descriptions.