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Edie: American Girl Paperback – October 14, 1994
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Through a kaleidoscope of seemingly fragmented voices, patterns form, giving brilliant definition to the very American tragedy of Edie Sedgwick, a woman not likely to be forgotten after this haunting portrait.” Publishers Weekly
Extraordinary . . . a fascinating narrative that is both meticulously reported and expertly orchestrated.” The New York Times
An exceptionally seductive biography. . . . You can’t put it down. . . . It has novelistic excitement.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
What makes this book so unusual, unique almost, is the picture it paints of the New York counterculture. No one has ever done it better.” The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
There is no more classic summertime read.” New York Magazine
From the Inside Flap
In a dazzling tapestry of voices--family, friends, lovers, rivals--the entire meteoric trajectory of Edie Sedgwick's life is brilliantly captured. And so is the Pop Art world of the '60s: the sex, drugs, fashion, music--the mad rush for pleasure and fame. All glitter and flash on the outside, it was hollow and desperate within--like Edie herself, and like her mentor, Andy Warhol. Alternately mesmerizing, tragic, and horrifying, this book shattered many myths about the '60s experience in America.
"This is the book of the Sixties that we have been waiting for."--Norman Mailer
"Through a kaleidoscope of seemingly fragmented voices, patterns form, giving brilliant definition to the very American tragedy of Edie Sedgwick, a woman...not likely to be forgotten after this haunting portrait."--Publishers Weekly
"Extraordinary...a fascinating narrative that is both meticulously reported and expertly orchestrated."--The New York Times
"An exceptionally seductive biography.... You can't put it down.... It has novelistic excitement."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"What makes this book so unusual, unique almost, is the picture it paints of the New York counterculture. No one has ever done it better."--The Atlanta Journal & Constitution
Jean Stein has worked as an editor for a number of magazines, including The Paris Review and Esquire, when it was under the direction of the near-legendary magazine editor Clay Felker. In the 1960s, she moved to Washington, D.C. where, through her husband, attorney William Vanden Heuvel, she became interested in the political career of Robert F. Kennedy. Following his assassination, she completed her first book, an oral history of his life entitled American Journey. In 1990, she became the editor of the literary journal Grand Street. She has two daughters: Wendy, an actress, and Katrina, the editor-in-chief of The Nation.
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Top Customer Reviews
She was born into a wealthy old family that had a history of instability. Her father, also breathtakingly beautiful, had crushing psychological problems. Two of her brothers committed suicide. Her mother was ineffectual with her large brood. She was raised on an isolated ranch with her seven siblings with almost no contact with the outside world. When she hit Cambridge at 18, she was pathetically ill equipped to be in the larger world.
I couldn't agree more that she found herself in the midst of horribly decadent people. Andy Warhol gets a particularly bad rap in this book, but to me, he was no better nor worse than his hangers-on, just a shade more self-absorbed. What really saddened me was that I don't think it really mattered who Edie took up with. She was destined to spin out of control. She had no focus, no inner strength, and was dangerously self-centered and delusionary.
"Edie" is compelling reading whether or not you have experienced the '60's. It is good to keep in mind that Edie herself and the contributors to the book all were a part of a very small stratum that whistled through this confusing decade. They were no more representative of the rank and file than Emmerin is representative of this decade.
Such a lovely child, such a terrible waste.
Artist and film-maker Andy Warhol saw that magic and so Edie became a part of his art as well . . . and so Edie became Warhol's underground "superstar".
This biography is, like Edie herself, a captivating read . . but a sad one. One can "sense" the sad and tragic ending almost from the first pages, even if you hadn't known anything about Edie Sedgwick before you came upon this book.
But despite that it is a book more than worth reading, because it does retell the life of a person worth knowing. Edie mattered . . . she mattered to those who knew her . . . she mattered as well to those who knew her only from a distance through her photographs and films and celebrity associations . . . and she matters still.
Reading this book you will feel as if you had yourself known her . . .and that makes her end so much sadder in its effect.
One of the saddest "icons" in this book appears on "page 426" (of the hardcover) -- it is a photgraph of the memorial stone grave marker which stand over the plot where Edie was laid to rest.Read more ›
The Sedgwicks were an old-time wealthy family; Judge Theodore Sedgwick, "a political ally of Alexander Hamilton and George Washington," was Speaker of the House following the American Revolution. His descendants have been illustrious All-American lawyers, magnates, artists and actors - all beautiful and, it seems, all in serious emotional turmoil.
Edie was brought up in a fabulously luxurious but dysfunctional household. Her Cambridge classmates describe Edie's destructive relationship with her sculptor father, Francis "Duke" Sedgwick. In an attempt to resist Duke's stranglehold, Edie fled to New York at 19. There, she joined the pop art crowd and was Andy Warhol's muse from 1965 until 1966, when she left the Factory to pursue mainstream acting. She had, by all accounts, a marvelous screen presence, but in the end her acting career materialized solely in the inventive but forgettable 1972 release Ciao! Manhattan.
Following her failed attempt at movie stardom, Edie died at 28 of a barbiturate overdose. She never fulfilled her promise as a model, actress, or clothing designer - any of which, according to American Girl, she had the resources and potential to be. Sedgwick burst upon the art scene as an actress of great promise, only to die young as another drug casualty. Like many of her contemporaries, Edie faded away before burning out.
Stein's book also includes fascinating first-hand accounts of the social circles Sedgwick moved in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a sad, strange story. Unfortunately, I've read so much about Warhol, et al, and always end up wondering how and why they were such icons. Read morePublished 6 days ago by JPM
The book definitely gave you a true feel of the sixties and Edie’s era. Edie comes across at first as a mover and someone who was capable of overcoming her mental instability and... Read morePublished 13 days ago by carrie w.
The amount of tangents in this book are long and sometimes not relevant but all in all the book gave a very clear picture of Edie Sedgwick's life and the people around her's lives.Published 1 month ago by H.
I enjoyed this quite a bit. Putting this book together was quite an accomplishment. It's written by at least 50 people describing the lives of Edie, Andy, and her family. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Marc A. Gauvin
Very interesting ... names and places of an era of our history .Published 7 months ago by Robyn Ribot
Ever since,I first read this book about Edie Sedgwick, I was fascinated about her: fog, her amphetamines, and her pearls", just like Bob Dylan"s song in "Just like a... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Susan Morales
I am not some Edie fan girl. I didn't grow up knowing who she was and spending my teen years thinking it would be so cool to be some tragic, drug addled, trust fund dropout. Read morePublished 8 months ago by rosesalve
It was ok but wasn't the straight forward bio that I thought it was. Probably my own fault for not paying too much attention to the reviews and comments. Still, its not badPublished 8 months ago by Paul Murany