"THE TWO GIRLS GREW UP AT THE EDGE OF THE OCEAN AND KNEW IT WAS PARADISE, AND BETTER THAN EDEN, WHICH WAS ONLY A GARDEN"
BABITZ, Eve. Sex and Rage. Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979. Octavo, original half black cloth, original dust jacket. $250.
First edition of Babitz's autobiographical third novel.
"Sex and Rage, first published in 1979, is Babitz's story in every sense. She is the narrator, and the heroine. The story follows Jacaranda who—like Babitz—is the granddaughter of runaway Catholics and Russian emigres. She lives in Santa Monica, 'at the edge of the ocean.' She surfs. She goes to parties. She falls in love. She drinks, excessively. Then she starts to write, successfully. It makes her friends furious. She sells a book and goes to New York alone, newly sober, and terrified, searching for success as a new means of survival. Jacaranda's life parallels with Babitz's biography, but when your truth is that compelling, why would you bother to make up a new story? Most importantly, Babitz's talent is in the telling. She surfs between prose and poetry, describing tenderness and cruelty with equally weighted vividness, and lacerates with her wit… It's time for a new generation to discover her voice, and to learn that it is the most singular, distinctive thing about her" (The Independent).