The silky/sinister LA novel always captivates me, and this joy of a read is also loaded with the protagonist’s precarious drinking, her avoidance of adulthood, and her dance with her true potential. Perfect for lovers of Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays and Nathaniel West’s Day of the Locust. Just ignore the publisher copy on the back of this book; our “dreamy young” heroine doesn’t move between Los Angeles and New York City, she exists stubbornly on the Best Coast. But The New York Times Book Review has it right: “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.”
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.