Last December, the literary world mourned the loss of essayist Eve Babitz—joyful, sharp observer of Los Angeles. Now, The Huntington Library in San, Marino has announced it has acquired Babitz’s archive, meaning researchers will be able to browse drafts of Babitz’s books and articles, original works of art, personal journals, photographs and letters from 1943 to 2011. (As far as we know, the archive doesn’t include her amazing Joseph Heller fan letter.)
Some highlights of the Babitz archive include a handwritten draft of her unpublished first book Travel Broadens; a draft of her first article, “The Sheik”; correspondence with her editor at Knopf; and 53 love letters Babitz wrote to actor Brian G. Hutton.
“With this spectacular acquisition, The Huntington’s 20th-century literary collections leap into the midst of the cultural revolutions of the ’60s and ’70s,” Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington, said in a statement. “Eve Babitz worked at a pivotal moment when the Los Angeles pop art and rock music scenes had captured international attention. Her archive complements our holdings of Los Angeles culture journalists, including Jack Smith, Al Martinez, and Patt Morrison, as well as those of other great authors who worked and set stories here, including Charles Bukowski, Octavia E. Butler, and Christopher Isherwood.”
Mirandi Babitz, Babitz’s younger sister, said Eve Babitz was pleased with the Huntington as a place for her archival materials: “When I told Eve that The Huntington was very interested in her archive, she said, ‘I would love to be with Blue Boy and Pinkie again, like when we were kids. It’s as classy as the Beverly Hills Hotel so I know I’ll be happy there.”