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


The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Eve Babitz posed in 1963, at age 20, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade 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. Then, at nearly 30, her It girl days numbered, Babitz was discovered – as a writer – by Joan Didion. She would go on to produce 7 books, usually billed as novels or short story collections, always autobiographies and confessionals. Now in her mid-70s, she’s on the cusp of literary stardom and recognition as the essential L.A. writer.