This is huge news for Grey Gardens fans: the nephew of Little Edie Beale is publishing her 1929 diary—in which the then 11-year-old wrote a detailed entry every day—titled I Only Mark the Hours that Shine.
The book—which is a transcribed rendition of Little Edie's handwritten original—will be released in hardcover on August 1, featuring an introduction by her nephew Bouvier Beale Jr.
Aside from getting a glimpse at the interior of Little Edie's life long before documentary cameras were there to capture it, the diary will give us the unique opportunity—from a historical aspect—to understand what life was like in 1929 for a little girl from a wealthy, established family, in her own words. It's like a nonfiction version of the American Girl books.
Also interesting is that the personality of the Little Edie we got to know as an adult, through the Maysles brother's films, was already shining through as a child, as evidenced by her head wrap and dance shoes featured on the book cover. Little Edie's relationship with her mother—Big Edie—and flair for hyperbole are both present in this short passage from her diary:
I bought some wonderful things, a marvelous tennis racket which was $15.00 but I got it for $10.00, also…some perfume for Mother—a new kind: you press a button, the metal case opens, and out pops the perfume. Margo Meade had me sell balloons, candy, cherries, and flowers till I was dead.
While it is no Marble Faun, Little Edie still might've said of her diary, "It's very deep; I don't know whether you…Well, I guess you're up to it."
I Only Mark The Hours That Shine: Little Edie's 1929 Diary [Grey Gardens Collections]