Best ingested in small doses, The Andy Warhol Diaries are the closest thing there will ever be to Warhol’s autobiography—yet it is more honest and revealing than an autobiography could ever be. He dictated his diary to Pat Hackett, his secretary, around 9 A.M. every morning Monday-Friday...legal pad, tape recorder, hotel stationary, typewriter, and receipts—yes, even receipts and dollar amounts are given cameos in various entries (cab $3.50, Newsweek $2, dinner $200, etc). So that the diary could be published in one large volume, Hackett distilled its original length of 20,000 pages down to what she felt was most representative of Andy.
From the intimate (Tuesday, February 17, 1987: the days before his untimely death) to the mundane (Monday, August 28, 1979: Warhol visits his dentist in Montauk) to the candid (Wednesday, February 15, 1978: “Hung over, couldn’t get out of bed.”) to the humorous (Tuesday, March 27, 1979: Warhol tells his friend Brigid to “go to church and pray to God” when she’s freaking out about her weight), the 807 pages paint a picture of a shy, ambitious, generous, bitchy, funny, phobic, and tormented man.
“Andy had a late adolescence—in his twenties he’d worked very hard at his commercial art career; he didn’t take much time out to have fun, really, until he was in his thirties. So he terrorized people the way, for instance, the most popular girl in high school could—creating cliques and setting up rivalries just for the “entertainment” value of watching people fight for his attention. But toward the end of the seventies he started to mellow.”