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Black Swans: Stories

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The only reason I rated Jealousy, the first chapter, 5 stars is that it was funny how it portrayed the difference between the sexes when they cheat.

A new edition of Babitz's 1993 story collection, Black Swans, is out, full of glitzy, tipsy portraits of Los Angeles. Because she had no health insurance, friends and family organized a fund-raising auction to pay her medical bills. Her writing seems effortless, airy, and conversational—descriptions that serve both as praise by her fans and backhanded compliments by her critics .

Black Swans is a collection of nine stories that look back on the 1980s—a decade of dreams, drink, and stoned youth turning Republican. Black Swans , originally out in 1993 and reissued this year, is the best example of what makes her writing so essential. Babitz died of Huntington's disease at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on December 17, 2021, at age 78. Scott, or the phenomenon of lugging one's books in a tote emblazoned with an image of Joan Didion holding a cigarette and looking delightfully contemptuous. There are a few less interesting ones in the middle, but for the most part I love stepping into Eve’s shoes and taking a walk around in her mind and her world.

It was such a shame because I saw so many good reviews about the book, and I don't understand the hype. Comforted by the apparent success of the women’s movement, Nixon’s resignation, and the end of Vietnam War, they 'got sidetracked […] ‘White backlash’ happened. 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. Babitz became somewhat more reclusive after this incident, but was still willing to be interviewed on occasion.Babitz takes readers along for the ride: nights on the Sunset Strip with Coco showing up all the other girls by rocking a suede mini dress, her dedication to heavy duty contouring with Max Factor contrary to Babitz’s warning that men didn’t like “pancake makeup,” her cycles through hair colors, jobs, husbands. Growing up with the Hollywoodland sign looming over her backyard and figures like Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo waltzing in and out of the house, she quickly acquired a taste for fast living. Babitz satirizes Los Angeles as the land of eternal youth, sunny and carefree, known for its unapologetic celebration of “beauty without a whisper of fading, sagging, or wrinkling.

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