Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love

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A multi-textual memoir chronicling the life of one of our most potent pop icons

Groundbreaking rock musician. Award-winning actress. Perceptive songwriter and author. Mother. Wife of a rock god. Fashionista and trendsetter. Provocateur. In each and every one of these roles Courtney Love has demonstrated a wholehearted commitment to her art, and an intense drive and a lust for life that have made her a star and a celebrity icon—but have also led her into some unwise, uncharted, ...

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2006 Paperback First edition-first printing New Mint condition. Faber and faber, 2006. First edition-first printing(1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2). Large format paperback in mint ... condition. Illustrated with many colour, b/w photos, drawings. The book is new.296pp including Author's note, afterword, notes and chronology. A collectable first edition. Heavy book(approx 1.2 Kg). *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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A multi-textual memoir chronicling the life of one of our most potent pop icons

Groundbreaking rock musician. Award-winning actress. Perceptive songwriter and author. Mother. Wife of a rock god. Fashionista and trendsetter. Provocateur. In each and every one of these roles Courtney Love has demonstrated a wholehearted commitment to her art, and an intense drive and a lust for life that have made her a star and a celebrity icon—but have also led her into some unwise, uncharted, and even dangerous territory. Simultaneously candid and enigmatic, Love has a mordant wit and vivid intelligence matched in intensity only by the extraordinary life she has led, from a bleak early childhood through great fame and terrible heartbreak to the present day. By turns exhilarating and unsettling, this is a story told for the first time in Dirty Blonde.

Composed of an astonishing and eclectic collection of deeply personal artifacts including personal letters, childhood records, poetry, diary entries, song lyrics, fanzines, show flyers, other original writings, and never-before-seen photographs, Dirty Blonde leads us through the unimaginable highs and the despairing lows of one of the most compelling and creative figures in the world of popular culture. Through these diaries we see Love’s accomplishments, her mistakes, her history, and her bright future in a whole new light. From her upbringing in Oregon through her years living in Japan, New Zealand, and London, from her career highs with Hole and as a Hollywood leading lady to her personal heartbreak and struggle, Dirty Blonde is Love laid bare—a wholly fascinating portrait of a fierce and insightful woman with an unblinking worldview and a determination to express herself no matter the cost.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This controversial singer's memoir amalgam contains widely disparate materials: letters, diary entries, poems, performance flyers, lyrics, photographs, postcards, jotted notes, photographs, and doodles. Daily Blonde contains touching snapshots of Courtney with Kurt Cobain and their baby, Frances Bean, but it also includes searing insights and brutal self-criticism: "I am a public figure unhappy with my share of the American dream. There can only be one reason for this. I am on drugs and have the morals and mentality of a cartoon character. What did I want after all?"
Publishers Weekly
Love writes in her introduction: "I have always said that I would never write a book, and I really haven't." It's true "diaries" is something of a misnomer, as "scrapbooks" would more accurately describe the collection of old photographs, hand-scrawled song lyrics and other documents that fill these pages. The materials assembled by Stander cover every phase of the rock star's "wild pirate life," from a failed childhood audition for The Mickey Mouse Club to an e-mail exchange with Lindsay Lohan about dealing with negative press coverage. (The compilation is so up-to-date it even includes her shocked reactions to the revelations about JT Leroy.) Along the way there are mimeographed flyers for early Hole concerts, a picture of the actual heart-shaped box that inspired Kurt Cobain to write the Nirvana song and photo after photo of Love herself, from candid backstage shots to more polished celebrity portraits. A foreword by Carrie Fisher and an afterword by political activists Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards (Manifesta) each, in their own way, celebrate Love as an unrestrained feminist, but the best way to understand her may be to plunge directly into the raw materials. One thing's for sure: you really have never seen a celebrity memoir like this. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Love uses letters, diary entries, poems, song lyrics, show flyers, and photographs to reconstruct a life lived on the edge. With a four-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Intimate . . . A collage of a life spent in pursuit of validation, fueled by her relentless creativity . . . This book may be the most direct and honest work that Love has done to date." —Jac Chebatoris, Newsweek

“Exhibits a heretofore unappreciated level of self-knowledge.” —Rebecca Winters Keegan, Time

“This is a pastiche, an assemblage, the most Barthian of texts. Yet it is undeniably a reflection of Love's psyche, confirming that Love's allure lies in her glorious disarray . . . She is not from the starlet factory where they mint Jojos and Rhiannas and other girls who can do that sweet-yet-sexy-yet-a-little-tough thing. She comes from an era when women played their own instruments and wrote their own songs, but she's not one of those Jewel-ish whiners or Sheryl Crow lite rockers. She's the real deal: a grungy girl punk rock star . . . These days, when celebrity is cultivated and managed à la [Jessica and Ashlee Simpson], Courtney Love's feminist status starts to look really radical: No man has ever had that hold on her. Have we seen her be self-promoting? A million times. Have we seen her naked? Sure. But we've never seen her bow down to anyone or anything, including public opinion.” —Lisa Levy, Salon

“An often fascinating document . . . Wade into its depths with caution and you will still get pulled under.” —Mikael Wood, TimeOut New York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865479739
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.85 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Courtney Love is the legendary front woman of Hole, whose album Live Through This is considered one of the seminal records of the 1990s.

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Read an Excerpt


THE DIARIES OF Courtney Love
By Courtney Love


Copyright © 2006 Courtney Love
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-86547-959-3



There's a saying: "Some of us can't find heaven without backing away from hell." Well, it seems to me that that's been part of Courtney Love's experience-not that she's found heaven, but I'm sure she has seen glimpses of the place. How could she not, with all her experience fighting her demons? She's had to have had some sweet feelings; possibly even ones she felt were brought to her by angels, who knows? The relief of surviving one's particular hell is often heavenly.

After Kurt died, Courtney did her grieving in public ... if she did any grieving at all. I've heard that grief is a private thing, but privacy is a far-off Shangri la-like kingdom that Courtney long ago lost her map to. Most would say willingly-and they'd more than likely be right. She did seem to want to capture the attention of the rock and roll world and keep it right in her grasp for all time. And that's the trade-off-privacy for publicity-or so I've heard.

But isn't that the dream of so many people, that dream of stardom? Audiences at your feet, screaming your name, worldwide acclaim, and you up there, above reproach, past caring, the sins of your past wiped clean ... a miracle! The pain and losses of your childhood not even a memory. If they could see me now! Wouldn't they be sorry they didn't treat me better!. They'll wishthey'd never ... they'll wish they had ... fame will be a new mother to me; a mother with many heads; one who follows me everywhere, who's interested in everything I do. A mother who clothes me and feeds me and gives me the biggest roof over my head imaginable and an allowance that never quits.

And for someone who felt unwanted, or unloved, or sent away from home at an early age, and who had been traveling an awfully long time, Mother Fame would look like a homecoming. But I think you want to perform your art in public. At least I imagine Courtney did. Sing her songs or act in her films, not live her life out on a world stage. But that's fame in the twenty-first century. Mother is very strict about that these days. Fame is an around-the-clock affair. You punch in and you never punch out, especially if your life is so interesting that sometimes you can barely fucking breathe. There is said to be a Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." Those ancient Asians must have had Courtney, and a few more of us, in mind when they etched out that hex in those faraway times. Because since Kurt's suicide, I can't really remember too long of a time when the press would avert its awful gaze from Courtney. Grieving Courtney, Widow Cobain, Single Mother Courtney, mom to fatherless Frances Bean. Courtney's brilliant new album: Did she write it or did her now-deceased husband? Stoned Courtney: Is she or isn't she? Grieving Courtney: When did that happen? When did she take the time? Courtney as fashion icon: from rocker rags to haute couture. Did she do something to her face or didn't she? Who is Courtney hanging out with? What celebrities? What rock icon is she warring with and why? Billy Corgan or Marilyn Manson? Courtney's filming a movie directed by Milos Forman with Edward Norton and Woody Harrelson: The word is she's very good. Is that true? How can that be? I hear she's dating Edward Norton. No! That can't be true. Where did you hear that? How old is her daughter now? I hear she looks like her dad. I hear Courtney's really badly behaved on the film. Really? I heard the opposite. Who did you talk top I hear she had to insure herself, that no one would insure her. I hear she carries Kurt's ashes around with her in a teddy bear. No, that's so weird! Are you allowed to do that? I heard she found the body. I heard her father said some awful things about her, like she controlled Kurt or something. Her father? You mean the guy who dropped all that acid and never met Kurt in his life? You know what I think? I think because Kurt looked like this fragile angel and Courtney looks like this tough street chick, people say crazy shit like that. I saw the movie-she's brilliant in it. Awesome! But, I mean, she plays a junkie, so how much of a stretch can that be for her, right? Well, wait, a lot of people are a lot of things, but that doesn't mean they can play them. I hear she bought Ellen Degeneres's house in Coldwater Canyon. Really? Expensive house? Oh yeah, millions, I'm told. Well, I hear her grandmother is a really famous well-respected author who gave up Courtney's mother for adoption, and that her mother is this psychologist who treated some famous radical on the run from the law. Wow. I heard the mom was a nudist and used to go skinny dipping when Courtney was a kid. I heard rumors and denials that her grandfather is Marlon Brando. I hear she's part Jewish. Wow, did you see that she didn't get nominated? That's kind of weird. Everyone thought she would. Yeah, but I hear she's going to be a presenter on the Oscars this year. That l have to see ...

And that's when I met Courtney. I was a staff writer for the Academy Awards, she was presenting, and I was assigned to write something that met with her approval, because everyone over at Casa del Oscar imagined Courtney would be a nightmare to deal with. So, I was sent as the diplomat from the Country of Show Business to establish relations with the land of all things Love and Courtney. But contrary to everyone's expectations (I don't know what mine were; I mean, my mother is Debbie Reynolds-how much bigger than that could she be?) I found Courtney to be ... well ... I got along great with her. You might say we got along like a house on fire, which would make sense, as you would have to go a fair distance to find two bigger smokers, or two greater masters at burning it down to the ground, than Miss Love and myself. There was a comedy trailer, where the jokes were housed and fed at the back of the Shrine Auditorium, and Courtney immediately moved in. There were changes of clothes, Kurt's mother and sister, love notes from Edward, and more. Everyone watched the telecast on the little TV in the camper and screamed and yelled and jumped on the sofa when Cuba Gooding, Jr., gave his great, long, ecstatic acceptance speech, and later more winnings and losses that, at this distance and having burned too many brain cells, I can no longer remember.

But Courtney's joy is what I first noticed about her. This joyfulness had to be part of this whole crazy star-choked Oscar lest, and how happy she was to be wearing the haute couture and the borrowed jewels, what a goof it was to have arrived at the erstwhile Mecca of Movie Industry. Here at the Oscars. Here in this trailer. Sure, this was a girl of appetites, but she was not a person who always feeds on a gloomy feast.

We discovered that our daughters were the same age, born the same year, divided by a month and a day, and that we lived right next door to each other. Our properties literally shared a border in our backyards. So this was the beginning of my friendship with Courtney. My daughter, Billie, and her daughter, Frances, ultimately became friends. We traveled together to Thailand and to the Orange County Fair-a world of extremes.

That's what I think you'll find in these pages of Courtney's journals. A girl making her way through her life-a far from easy one, to be sure, but she is someone who barely had time for a childhood, who was thrust into this world without appropriate role models or any coping skills. Not unlike many young people of her generation, and generations before, and after, which is one of the reasons why I think her music has enjoyed the popularity it has, as well as being a contributing factor to its amazing critical success.

In these journals you'll find the young Courtney before she surfaced into our choked fishbowl for all the world to see, to sing along with, and to comment on: Courtney under construction, Courtney self-destructing: taking things too hard-to heart, and on the chin. Courtney trying to make sense of things, succeeding, failing. Courtney, the wild child, wise beyond anyone's years, a precocious kid. Courtney with her rampant empathy-a person without insulation. If someone gets a headache in Iquitos, Peru, she feels it in the back of her brain. She picks up radio stations in her molars on a clear night. This is a lady made for those drugs that quiet the noise, that soften that edge. She's the doctor and the patient, and frequently the doctor just isn't in. Over the years, anyone who cares to has been able to watch her struggle with her more-than-medical self-ministrations. With Kurt, and then alone.

But she's always used her writing and her music to make sense of it: first in these journal entries and early wise child lyrics from the age of fourteen, then with music: her band Hole, from their amazing landmark album Pretty on the Inside, to their critically acclaimed Live Through This, written before the death of her husband, directly after she toured, and then Hole's Celebrity Skin, along with Courtney's solo album, America's Sweetheart, and finally the newest (and perhaps most remarkable) album, How Dirty Girls Get Clean.

This lady, this friend and former neighbor of mine, has healed herself on and off in four ways (that I know of) over the years: with genius men, bad medicine, great music, and motherhood. A rock icon for all seasons.

So these journals are a glimpse into the unhip, unobserved (until now) Courtney Love. After all is said and done-whenever that is-she is a survivor. Unfortunately, the only thing wrong with being a survivor is you have to keep getting in trouble to show off your gift. Getting in trouble and then getting out again, bearing gifts.

-JULY 11, 2006


Excerpted from DIRTY BLONDE by Courtney Love Copyright © 2006 by Courtney Love. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 25, 2010


    I got this book a while ago and since then I've been in love with it. Courtney Love's my idol and I adore her music and her grunge vintage Edwardian style. I keep this book in my vanity and often find myself reffering to it for insperation wheather it be for art, makeup, fashion or writing. For me this book is a must!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    Pretty on the Inside????

    This book was definitely published after the "success" of Cobain's journal. It's just the ramblings of a self possessed media manipulator. I received this book @ Christmas a few years ago, since I'm a big Nirvana fan. If you're a Kurt Cobain fan, you might find it "interesting."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    Graphic design achievement!

    The cover is the only nudy photo. Everything else is beautiful collage with Courtney's raw hand-written text and personal photos and memorabilia. Fans of her would love this book. What I like about it is that the entire book is set as collage and each spread looks really cool and inspiring as graphic design. I'm really glad that I ran into this book at B&N!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    Dirrtttyyy Giiirrlll Miss Courtney!

    Really interesting book about the infamous Courtney Love and all her wild escapades! The book is written kind of like a diary with Courtney telling about her childhood and up through her rise to fame...wacky parents, Kurt, etc. I say a must-have for all Courtney fans!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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