Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press


American Girl

by Jean Stein Edited by George Plimpton

“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

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 464
  • Publication Date October 14, 1994
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3410-3
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $17.00

About The Book

When Edie was first published in 1982 it quickly became an international best-seller and then took its place among the classic books about the 1960s. Edie Sedgwick exploded into the public eye like a comet. She seemed to have it all: she was aristocratic and glamorous, vivacious and young, Andy Warhol’s superstar. But within a few years she flared out as quickly as she had appeared, and before she turned twenty-nine she was dead from a drug overdose.

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.

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“Is anyone capable of picking up . . . Edie and putting it down before the very last page?” –Pamela Paul, New York Times Book Review

“The ultimate oral history and still the most objectively cool book I’ve ever read. It’s perfectly structured and the most important book about America in the 1960s.” –Sloane Crosley, T: The New York Times Style Magazine

“Jean Stein’s 1982 book Edie: American Girl, edited with George Plimpton . . . gave oral history the particular shimmer that comes when lofty literary aims happen to coincide with sheer entertainment value. Edie conjured the tragic life of Edith Sedgwick, who was born into a patrician New England family, grew up with seven siblings on isolated ­ranches near Santa Barbara under the yoke of a semi-deranged father, came east and after a stint in a mental hospital became Andy Warhol’s arm candy and a figure in New York counterculture, before being cast out by him and dying at 28 of an overdose . . .

Edie gave an almost mythic quality to its subject’s persona and her brief rise and fall, yet in its telling you could also follow clear lines connecting disparate pieces of 20th-century American life: the hollow cult of celebrity; the fragile prospect of greater opportunity for women; the intoxicating dream of the West for certain Easterners; the peculiar pathologies of the very rich.” –Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review

“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, Michiko Kakutani

“An exceptionally seductive biography. . . . You can’t put it down. . . . It has novelistic excitement.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Impressive . . . The persistence of Edie’s iconicity can be credited, paradoxically, to Stein’s attempt to make real this woman whose short life was at once a sad waste of time and culturally, ad infinitum the time of seemingly everyone’s life.” –Atlantic

“No book fascinated me more than . . . Edie: American Girl . . . I was riveted by the tales of Edie’s adventures, the trail of intrigue and wonder she seemed to leave behind her wherever she went.” –Megan Abbott, NPR.org

“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