Quintessential L.A. Author Eve Babitz's Works To Be Adapted For TV
The essays and fictive memoirs of author Eve Babitz, who helped define what it meant to be young, female and restless in Los Angeles in the 1970s, are coming soon to a TV screen near you.
Babitz's ruminations on coming of age in L.A. in the late 1960s and early '70s are being adapted into LA Woman, a single-camera comedy created, written and executive produced by Casual showrunner Liz Tigelaar, Deadline reports. Director Lynn Shelton and producers Amy Pascal and Elizabeth Cantillon are also attached to the Sony/TriStar project, which will air on Hulu.
Cantillon and Pascal optioned LA Woman back in 2015 through Sony Pictures TV’s TriStar Television.
Along with LA Woman, Babitz's recently re-released 1988 novel Sex and Rage will also serve as inspiration for Tigelaar's show, along with Babitz's essay collections Slow Days, Fast Company and Eve’s Hollywood.
"Babitz’s Los Angeles is as idiosyncratically true as William Faulkner’s Mississippi, and as distinct from that place as it is from Joan Didion’s L.A., with which it nevertheless overlaps," as Matthew Specktor wrote in the introduction to the recently reissued Slow Days, Fast Company. " Still, there is sometimes an irritating tendency, one as sexist as it is parochial, to imagine Babitz’s work as an accidental, perhaps even unimportant by-product of her glamorous biography," Specktor continued, before touching briefly on Babitz's legendary biography (despite being "loath to bring it up"):
Babitz attended Hollywood High. Her godfather was Igor Stravinsky. At 20, she was famously photographed playing chess in the nude with Marcel Duchamp. (Only she, alas, is nude. The artist was dressed.) After that—well, to start laying out the names of Babitz’s paramours is to begin building the wall that obscures our view of her work.
A teenage Babitz, whose father was first violinist for the Twentieth Century Fox Orchestra, once also famously wrote Joseph Heller a letter that read, in its entirety:
Dear Joseph Heller,
I am a stacked eighteen-year-old blonde on Sunset Boulevard. I am also a writer.
Heller wrote her back, of course.
Modern-day Babitz is known for being press-averse (which might just be what happens when you're a female writer who fields more questions about her sexual conquests than her body of work), but in a rare interview with Vice last month, she neglected to mention that her works were being adapted for TV.
Babitz did, however, reflect on the inherent shallowness of human existence, telling Vice, ""We reward people for their looks," she says. "It's the first thing we see. We are drawn in—we think more about giving the beautiful person or the perceived beautiful person more of a chance." Sounds like somebody's ready for her first network casting call.
No word yet on a release date for LA Woman, but while you wait, get your mid-'70s debauchery and ennui on with this Curbed roundup of Babitz's oft-mentioned L.A. haunts.