Jean Stein was the literary editor and author best known for her engrossing oral histories on subjects such as the life of an Andy Warhol acolyte and the tumultuous Hollywood intrigues. She died at 83 and her death was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Nation magazine from New York City. This is also the place where Katrina vandedn Heuvel, Stein’s daughter, works as an editor and publisher.
The cause of death has not been revealed, but an official from New York City Police Department said that it seems that Stein has jumped to her death on Sunday morning throwing herself from the 15th floor of a Manhattan tower.
Another spokesperson from Random House which published her last book “West of Eden: An American Place” issued the shortest statement reading “Random House is deeply saddened by the death of Jean Stein”.
Most of her friends knew she has being extremely unhappy in the past few years and Robert Scheer, a Los Angeles journalist end editor for Truthdig, a political website, said that “She was pretty depressed, we were all worried”.
“West of Eden”, her 2016 book – the most recent oral history – followed the development of Southern California and Hollywood by presenting the lives of five powerful families. The book has also included a section about her very own family called the Steins.
“West of Eden” has been received very well by most critics and reviewer Judith Freeman from the Los Angeles Times described the book as “compulsively readable, capturing not just a vibrant part of the history of Los Angeles…but also the real drama of this town, as reflected in the lives of some of its most powerful players.”
Robert Scheer said that Stein didn’t suffer fools and when he himself acted like one, she didn’t suffer him.
One of the most remarkable things she said was during an interview for The Times: “I am very interested in the different worlds coming together, so you’re not only writing, you’re not only art, you’re not only science, you’re bringing them together.”