Wow. Just wow. I am really stunned after reading this book.
..and at the same time also a little bit depressed.
edie is the biography of Edie Sedgwick, THE superstar of the 1960ies Pop Art and momentary muse to Andy Warhol. Normally I am not that much into reding biographies, but I had to write a thesis on the theory of biography and while doing my research, I stumbled across a lot of papers in which this particular biography of Edie was mentioned (although it had nothing to do with the subject I was writing about). Still, I got interested and after finishing my thesis I finally had the time to read it.
Jean Stein and George Plimpton really show what you can do within the genre of biography. It is never exhausting, never boring and, most importantly, it does not smother you with facts, facts, facts and dates. What I particularly dislike in most biographies I have read is, that there is this one point of view of the author and that's it. No critical approach, no criticism, just the effort to bring out the best of the best of the biographed person. Not in edie. This book consists of a variety of vioces, based on interviews of nearly 300 different people - friends, family members, lovers, rivals, admirerers and critics. And every one has their own voice, their own style and their own story to tell. Many of them aren't about Edie at all, but about the 1960ies, about drugs, orgies or just personal memories of their own lifestyle at that time. But all of it magically adds up to a coherent picture of the era and Edie's role in it.
For me, this was the first biography that was able to communicate not only a certain lifestyle, but to really show so many different aspects of someone's personality in contrast to the sort of flat and one dimensional picture of a person you get in a "traditional" biography.
5/5 stars, because edie was awesome!!