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Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz

Pretentious and beautiful
Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz

Sex and Rage

I highly recommend Sex and Rage: A Novel by Eve Babitz. Babitz can write! And Jacaranda is beautifully sculpted. From being a big-headed surf weed into a callused alcoholic and then back. The ride is like surfing. The beauty is almost always sad and a little high society cliché. The proof is in the pudding: I read this novel compulsively, with the ravenous hunger of my teens and twenties. 

QUOTES CHRIS LIKED

. . . watching their smoke lured out the window by the sun.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“She brought fresh flowers in from the tumbling-down hill where her landlady threw handfuls of wildflower seeds each spring.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“He smelled like a birthday party for small children, like vanilla, crêpe paper, soap, starch, and warm steam and cigarettes.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“The word “escape” had blown out the glow: it was so boring of these American women to imagine they were worth pursuing.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“People go through life eating lamb chops and breaking their mother’s hearts.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“She could get published in a sound journal that meant business and didn’t publish fly-by-nights. She was twenty-eight. It was time for her to O.D., not get published.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

. . . writers all had drinking problems in the twentieth century, and once she got the $1,080 check, she was obviously a writer and it was obviously the twentieth century, so of course she had a drinking problem.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“She discovered what most writers insist is true nowadays, which is that they can only write for three hours a day at the most, so what else is there to do but drink?” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“Everyone knew the way to dance was like black people did and they all danced that way.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“Sunrise went straight off to take a shower. Jacaranda left and returned from across the street, where she’d picked up two half-gallons of Iglenook Chablis, and poured herself a glass of cold wine. She looked out the window and tried to remember.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“Two days before she went to New York, Jacaranda stopped drinking.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“Jacaranda believed that in the world of airplanes there were only two kinds of luggage—carry-on or lost.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

“Secrets are lies that you tell to your friends.” 
 Eve BabitzSex and Rage: A Novel

READING PROGRESS

  • September 15, 2017 – Started Reading
  • September 24, 2017 – Finished Reading

About Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz

"The entirety of Sex and Rage . . . is a kind of pushback against the notion of Southern California's banality and vanity: it gives great merit to simple beauty and solitude, and does its part to redeem the SoCal lifestyle." —The Paris Review (staff pick)

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 Pink 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 an American artist and author best known for her fictive memoirs and her relationship to the cultural milieu of Los Angeles, California."