Saturday, 19 July 2014

commuters book club: edie american girl / jean stein

so, i'm a fully fledged commuter these days, travelling from mk to london every day for work. listening to music is ok, but i like to have a book to read as well. this week i've been reading 'edie: american girl' by jean stein.

In a nut's a biography about the original superstar Edie Sedgwick. Edie Sedgwick was a 1960's it girl, and Andy Warhol's muse (for a time, anyway...) and had a turbulent life to say the least. the biography uses a lot of different sources, from family members/friends/partners who knew edie to get a full picture of her life. it documents her families history right through to Edie's tragic death at the tender age of 28. covering everything from her less than conventional upbringing, to her life as a superstar at the factory with Andy Warhol, and then life after the spotlight. 

So, what did you think?...i was initially interested in Edie Sedgwick's life after watching the film Factory Girl, which now i realise is COMPLETELY WRONG. whilst sienna miller played the part well, the film is not at all accurate with key things such as Edie and Andy's first meeting. but anyway... i found it SO interesting to read about what really went on in her childhood, how her families way of dealing with issues was simply to hospitalise the children, which actually caused more trauma for them. it was also heartbreaking to see that two of Edie's siblings committed suicide due to their own demons and their father's tough love, showing the contributing factors to Edie's own complicated relationship with her family.

actually reading about Edie's time in The Factory and her relationship with Andy Warhol was the most interesting aspect of the book. seeing how Edie was somewhat manipulated by the promise of film and stardom by Warhol is fascinating, how Warhol's character seemed to be to latch to those who are glittering and promising and then ditch them when they are no longer the 'it' person was really eye opening. it seemed that once Edie began to see other people (ie. Bob Dylan), Warhol started to get jealous, and phase her out. matched with Edie's own insecurities, this was a pivotal moment to her real downfall. and made me just get a lil bit angry at the ohsofamous Andy Warhol for using these women. 

the drug use of Edie Sedgwick is beyond shocking, i couldn't believe she survived until 28. she was pretty much doing every drug under the sun, it just seemed a chaotic mess of drugs, money, parties....all revolving around each other into one jumble of leopard print coats and problems. i really sympathised with Edie, her 'poor little rich girl' attitude actually being much more relatable than  initially thought. she was a little girl trapped in a woman's body, incredibly vulnerable and desperate to be loved and numb the pain of her past.

there were also some AMAZING photos of edie in the book. she was beyond stunning, with a really amazing style that you can tell has influenced fashion in a big way. she really reminds me of suki waterhouse, with a real innocent look about her. 

it's such a shame she died so young. it would have been fascinating to see how her career evolved, and the stories she would tell. i would definitely recommend this book to anyone, don't just watch the film.

until next time xo

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