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Sex and Rage

A Novel

List Price: $16.95

July 11, 2017 | Paperback | 5-1/2 x 8-1/4, 256 pages | ISBN 9781619029354
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER
An NPR Best Book of 2017
A Bellatrist Book Club Pick for July 2017
The Paris Review Staff Pick
1 of 12 Great New Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer (The Huffington Post)
1 of 9 Books to Read This Summer (W and Elle)
1 of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now (O Magazine)
1 of 6 Smarter—But Not Quite Guilt–Free—Beach Reads (VICE)

“This novel is studded with sharp observations . . . Babitz’s talent for the brilliant line, honed to a point, never interferes with her feel for languid pleasures.” —The New York Times Book Review

The popular rediscovery of Eve Babitz continues with this very special reissue of her novel, originally published in 1979, about a dreamy young girl moving between the planets of Los Angeles and New York City.

We first meet Jacaranda in Los Angeles. She’s a beach bum, a part–time painter of surfboards, sun–kissed and beautiful. Jacaranda has an on–again, off–again relationship with a married man and glitters among the city’s pretty creatures, blithely drinking White Ladies with any number of tycoons, unattached and unworried in the pleasurable mania of California. Yet she lacks a purpose—so at twenty–eight, jobless, she moves to New York to start a new life and career, eager to make it big in the world of New York City.

Sex and Rage delights in its sensuous, dreamlike narrative and its spontaneous embrace of fate, and work, and of certain meetings and chances. Jacaranda moves beyond the tango of sex and rage into the open challenge of a defined and more fulfilling expressive life. Sex and Rage further solidifies Eve Babitz’s place as a singularly important voice in Los Angeles literature—haunting, alluring, and alive.

About Eve Babitz

EVE BABITZ is the author of several books of fiction, including Sex and Rage, Eve's Hollywood, and Slow Days, Fast Company. Her nonfiction works include Fiorucci: The Book and Two by Two. She has written for publications including Ms. and Esquire, and in the late 1960s, she designed album covers for the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Linda Ronstadt.

Praise
“Babitz was living proof that rock–and–roll decadence also could be elegant and that muses could be the sharpest tacks in the room. Her writing was so lush and so arch—so sexy and so smart—that she made you believe lush and arch were not mutually exclusive . . . Only Eve could inspire you to buy seven caftans and all the ingredients of a tequila sunrise after reading only ten pages of her books. (Cocaine and caviar were optional.)” —Signature Reads

“First published in 1979 and now back in print with Counterpoint, California queen Eve Babitz’s Sex and Rage is a witty, unconventional coming–of–age story of surprising depth and pleasure . . . The book’s warmth radiates from her wit and charm, as well as moments when young women recognize and affirm each other. Sex and Rage is a romp with substance—just beyond the descriptions of drinks and parties and devastating one–liners is a sweet story of a bright but messy young woman, making her own way. Nearly forty years after Sex and Rage's initial publication, Jacaranda’s candid combination of moxie and sophistication feels fresh as a new generation of their private and public lives.” —The Riveter Magazine

Praise for Eve's Hollywood

One of Flavorwire's 33 Must–Read Books for Fall 2015

“Sharp and funny throughout, she offers an almost cinematic portrait of Los Angeles: gritty, glamorous, toxic and intoxicating.” —New York Times

Eve's Hollywood has become a classic of L.A. life. The names in the dedication, Jim Morrison, David Geffen, Andy Warhol, Stephen Stills, and more, indicate the era and depth of this important book.” —Steve Martin

Eve's Hollywood is less a straightforward story or tell–all than a sure–footed collection of elliptical yet incisive vignettes and essays about love, longing, beauty, sex, friendship, art, artifice, and above all, Los Angeles. . . . Reading West (and Fante and Chandler and Cain and the like) made me want to go to Los Angeles. Babitz makes me feel like I'm there.” — Deborah Shapiro, The Second Pass

“Eve Babitz is to prose what Chet Baker, with his light, airy style, lyrical but also rhythmic, detached but also sensuous, is to jazz, or what Larry Bell, with his glass confections, the lines so clean and fresh and buoyant, is to sculpture. She's a natural. Or gives every appearance of being one, her writing elevated yet slangy, bright, bouncy, cheerfully hedonistic—L.A. in it purest, most idealized form.” —Lili Anolik, Vanity Fair

“Sharp and funny throughout, [Babitz] offers an almost cinematic portrait of Los Angeles: gritty, glamorous, toxic and intoxicating.” —New York Times

“Her writing took multiple forms, from romans à clef to essayistic cultural commentaries to reviews to urban–life vignettes to short stories. But in the center was always Babitz and her sensibility—fun and hot and smart, a Henry James–loving party girl. . . The joy of Babitz's writing is in her ability to suggest that an experience is very nearly out of language while still articulating its force within it.” —New Republic

“Eve Babitz has a provocative and sassy voice, and an intelligent one too. She can seem self–involved but seduces us with her originality. . . Babitz writes about California and particularly Los Angeles the way Woody Allen writes about New York. She is crazy about it; all of it.” —Jewish Journal

“Her voice on the page is no less mesmerizing than her presence in a room. . . The singular spectrum of her adventures, her friends, and her tastes reveal themselves in her unconventional and delightful dedication page(s).” —Nicole Jones, Vanity Fair

“Eve Babitz, whose autobiographical vignettes of LA had an easygoing Mediterranean warmth and acceptance (she didn't billboard over the dark side of LA and Hollywood, she just didn't elevate it into a noir nihilism) that was the antithesis of Joan Didion's desert vision of bleached bones beneath numbed nerves. The pleasure principle still prevailed in Eve's writing, whatever the setbacks and heartbreaks.” —James Wolcott, Vanity Fair

“Her voice manages to be both serious and happy, with a run–on syntax that feels like a friend on her second glass of wine. Relentlessly unsentimental, she sees people for who they are, regardless of who she wants them to be...In Eve's Hollywood, she writes with the aching immediacy of adolescence and the wide–angle perspective of a woman much older –– and she's only in her 20s.” —Holly Brubach, The New York Times

“What truly sets Babitz apart from L.A. writers like Didion or Nathanael West [...] is that no matter what cruel realities she might face, a part of her still buys the Hollywood fantasy, feels its magnetic pull as much as that Midwestern hopeful who heads to the coast in pursuit of 'movie dreams.'“ —Steffie Nelson, L.A. Review of Books

“Eve Babitz is a little like Madame de Sevigne, that inveterate letter–writer of Louis XIV's time, transposed to the Chateau Marmont in the late 20th–Century––lunching, chatting, dressing, loving and crying in Hollywood, that latter–day Versailles.” —Mollie Gregory, L.A. Times

“As the cynosure of the counterculture, Eve Babitz knew everybody worth knowing; slept with everybody worth sleeping with and better still, made herself felt in every encounter.” —Daniel Bernardi, PopMatters

“Her romp through '70s L.A. winkingly fulfills the promises of pleasure and delight so often scorched to nil by writers like Joan Didion.” —Ian Epstein, Vulture

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