I have been living in a parallell universe of Viva for the past few weeks as I read both of her novels (a review of BABY forthcoming). SUPERSTAR is a coming of age story.  The saga of Janet Susan Mary Hoffman. The story takes us through her strict, perverse, and at times abusive catholic childhood, through her trials and tribulations in education from Catholic school to art school in Paris, trying her hand at modeling, the awakening of Viva in the Factory scene, her burgeoning film career and falling in love. She changes everyone's names in her very autobiographical novel, but they are pretty easy to figure out. Most of the Factory scene is a cinch but some of the French film makers are beyond me. I've created a key for your amusement. Please tell me if you know who these coded names could possibly be! There is so much SEX in this book that we could start A LOT of rumors. Scandals fifty years in the making.

Gloria = Viva : Augustine = Janet
A = Andy Warhol
Olga = Nico
Infra Red = Ultra Violet
Evie = Edie Sedgewick
The Plant = The Factory
Angelo = Michel Auder (Viva's french husband)
Dolores = ?? (female artist who cuts out pictures of penises and puts them all around NYC)
Tekla = Julia (Andy's mother)
Adele Vargas = Agnes Varda
Jean La Fonce = Jane Fonda
Robert = Roger Vadim (Jane's husband)
Sylvia = ?? (beautiful red-haired hippie who funded struggling film makers)
Lucien Centi = ?? (French movie star)
Ivan = ?? (French film maker)
Anton = ?? (another French film maker)
Regina La Paz = Valerie Solanas
Slim O'Reilly = Timothy Leary
Sergio Bourgigion = ?? (expatriate French director)
Betty & Marcus St. Andrews = ?? (Marcus was a Broadway actor)
Hippie & Groovy (co-authors of Mustache) =  James Rado & Gerome Ragni (co-authors of HAIR)
Tigers Tremble = LIONS LOVE
Creepy Cowboys = Lonesome Cowboys

Superstar is Viva's first novel. 

Says GORE VIDAL of Viva's novel, Superstar: "Not since Mary McCarthy's Memories has any book so beautifully and poignantly describes the hazards and results of a Catholic girlhood in America."

BOOK JACKET: "Superstar Viva, adored, acclaimed, imitated, underground movie star and heroine of the New People, writes a startling novel--perhaps the most revelatory and honest work of fiction ever produced by a woman. Andy Warhol's shining Superstar lays bare the freak, hip world, the world of outrageous, easy sex and abundant drugs, of the beautiful and the avant-garde. 

Here is a comic, poignant, anti-intellectual, American existential tale of Gloria, the Superstar: early childhood in a convent school, forbidden intimations of sexuality, disturbing realisations of American hypocrisy, Paris, New York, Hollywood, underground stardom, pyscho-sexual obsessions, drugs, orgies, sensational experiences with the great and the near great. 

Viva's straightforward, sometimes brutally perceptive personality penetrates to the essence of these worlds and brings them vividly to life through a mixed bag of techniques: frank narration, taped conversations, outrageous 'pillow talk,' dreams, journal entries, letters. Shocking, outspoken, incredibly honest, there has never been a novel like SUPERSTAR."

The New York Times said of her: "Viva manages to suggest a hippie Dietrich and an outgoing Garbo."

I enjoy Viva's style and all her various types of narration. The novel provides a perfect snapshot of her world and all its personalities. 

She is so beautiful and coooooooool. Read her book and you too can be so hip!


  1. DOLORES=Brigid Berlin, the dicks give her away

  2. Thanks, mama. Brigid is the super cool girl with her breast hanging out in the big group Factory photo. Now it all makes sense.