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By Audra Schroeder, December 1, 2006, Music

Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love

by Courtney Love

Faber & Faber, 285 pp., $35

Courtney Love has become famous for the circus that surrounds her – the assaults, overdoses, plastic surgeries, and famous dead spouses. Dirty Blonde, said to be pieces of her life up until 2001 (and, naturally, a teaser for her upcoming album), is proof. From pages chronicling her early years as a juvenile delinquent and stripper, there is the human element: She's a lonely, insecure girl, thirsty for fame and validation. You've got to hand it to Love; she never stopped striving for the rock & roll dream. An entry titled "Things to Teach My Children" is prescient: "Never let anyone see you be self promoting." Her obsession with celebrity and her own career trajectory is an interesting study in worship: Photos of blond icon Jean Harlow ("a perfect example of how you create illusion") next to letters to John Peel and the "right guy at 4AD" demonstrate her "mojo." Kurt Cobain shows up mostly in photos, scrawled postcards, and lists ("Hate: Nirvanamania, drugs, being pregnant … Love: drugs, Yoko Ono"), but there's no real insight into their relationship. A more recent e-mail exchange with Lindsay Lohan about the media and "sickofans" is telling; at this low point in celebrity worship, are her diaries anything other than self-promoting?

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