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Full coverage: Eve Babitz, vivid chronicler of Los Angeles

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Eve Babitz, the author known for her hedonistic chronicles of Los Angeles drawn largely from her own life, died last Friday at 78. Her writing and exploits took her through the worlds of L.A. literature, art, film and music, milieus she described indelibly and influenced deeply.

Eve Babitz, who chronicled life in Los Angeles with a hedonistic zeal drawing from lived experience, found her truest literary fame late in life.

Eve Babitz, the L.A. author and reveler who died last week at 78, captured the erotic joy of the city, but always kept an eye on the ravages of time.

In a city that gets conflated with fantasy, the late writer’s work gave permission to honor the details of everyday aesthetic experience.

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“She was just a woman of few words, but they were always words that counted.”

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From the archives

This story was originally published in October 2019. Iconic Los Angeles writer Eve Babitz died Friday at 78.

Writer Brian Moore once said that despite its criticisms, Los Angeles is never provincial: “People in Southern California never look anywhere else in the world for instructions about what to think or how to behave.”

People love an artist’s muse. The glamour of the position is naturally implied.

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.

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