Cynthia Carr

Candy Darling: Dreamer, Icon, Superstar

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A Must-Read: The New York Times Book Review and Nylon

From the acclaimed biographer Cynthia Carr, the first full portrait of the queer icon and Warhol superstar Candy Darling.

You must always be yourself no matter what the price . . . Don't dare destroy your passion for the sake of others.

The Warhol superstar and transgender icon Candy Darling was glamour personified, but she was without a real place in the world.

Growing up on Long Island, lonely and quiet and queer, she was enchanted by Hollywood starlets like Kim Novak. She found her turn in New York's early Off-Off-Broadway theater scene, in Warhol's films Flesh and Women in Revolt, and at the famed nightclub Max's Kansas City. She inspired songs by Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones. She became friends with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, borrowed a dress from Lauren Hutton, posed for Richard Avedon, and performed alongside Tennessee Williams in his own play.

Yet Candy lived on the edge, relying on the kindness of strangers, friends, and her quietly devoted mother, sleeping on couches and in cheap hotel rooms, keeping a part of herself hidden. She wanted to be a star, but mostly she wanted to be loved. Her last diary entry was: "I shall try to be grateful for life . . . Cannot imagine who would want me." Candy died at twenty-nine in 1974, just as conversations about gender and identity were beginning to enter the broader culture. She never knew it, but she changed the world.

Brimming with all the fizz and wildness of New York in the 1960s and '70s, this is the first biography of this extraordinary figure--an unintentional pioneer who became an icon. Cynthia Carr's Candy Darling is packed with tales of luminaries, gossip, and meticulous research, laced with Candy's words and her friends' recollections, and signals Candy's long-overdue return to the spotlight.

Includes 16 pages of color photographs

Author: Cynthia Carr

Hardback  Published 19 March 2024  432 pages

"The most compelling and complete portrait of the late Warhol Superstar and LGBTQ+ pioneer to date." --Jordan Runtagh, People

"The definitive record of [Candy Darling's] life, shading in the vulnerable, gritty, and deeply soulful individual behind the fabulous façade . . . An essential read for anyone interested in queer culture and New York history . . . Such a gift."--Mel Ottenberg, Interview magazine

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