BOOKS And MOVIES And MARILYN MONROE! is a newly-published, diverse collection of reviews by author Karen Inskip-Hayward. She has been kind enough to mention me on her acknowledgements page. If you’re interested in this book, read more
“I first truly discovered Marilyn Monroe on a postcard stand in Devon, England, during a seaside holiday in 1985 … the postcard of Marilyn in a gold lamé dress, blowing a kiss to the camera, triggered something inside of me. At a time when I felt like the most unglamorous person in the world, Marilyn’s beauty, style and sophistication spoke to my teenage heart.”
Michelle Morgan, author of The Little Book of Marilyn, has written several other books about Monroe, including Marilyn’s Addresses, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, Before Marilyn: The Blue Book Modelling Years, and The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist. A compact softback, The Little Book of Marilyn is part of a series from U.S. publisher Running Press. Previous subjects include Bettie Page and Audrey Hepburn, whose fame has endured like Marilyn’s, and whose appeal surpasses that of other pin-models and actresses, including some still living. Continue reading
10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World, A Suffragette in America, A Year in Books, Alexander Baron, Amanda Konkle, Benjamin Levy, Bette Howland, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Casey Cep, Cash Carraway, Colson Whitehead, Dolores, Edna O'Brien, Elif Shafak, Ernesto Quinonez, Eve Babitz, Furious Hours, Girl, Guzel Yakhina, Hallie Rubenhold, Harper Lee, I Used To Be Charming, Inland, Jack the Ripper, Janine Booth, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Kamala Markandaya, Kerry Hudson, Latin Writers, Lauren Aimee Curtis, Lowborn, Marilyn Monroe, Minnie Lansbury, Murray's Cabaret Club, Nicole Flattery, Nowhere Man, On Swift Horses, Profumo Affair, Sabrina & Corrina, Selina Todd, Shannon Pufahl, Shelagh Delaney, Short Stories, Show Them a Good Time, So We Live, Some Kind of Mirror: Creating Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Pankhurst, Taina, Tea Obreht, The Five, The Nickel Boys, Turkey, With Hope Farewell, Zuleikha
First published in 2015 as Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes and now available in English, Zuleikha tells the story of a Tatar woman whose brutish husband and vindictive mother-in-law treat her as a slave. This all changes around 1930 when along with other peasants and Leningrad intellectuals – a motley crew of ‘enemies of the state’ – Zuleikha is transported to a gulag in Siberia. Beside the age-old themes of tyranny and suffering, Zuleikha offers a surprisingly hopeful vision of how ordinary people can keep their wits and capacity for love, even in the direst circumstances. Continue reading
“When we can recognise an actor by a set of icons, we can also recognise how completely that actor and their work have entered our culture and our consciousness.” A snapper board, a ukulele, and a birthday cake; the imprint of red lipstick, a bottle of Chanel No. 5, and a white halter dress blowing in the wind above a subway grate. These are all visual signifiers of the ultimate Hollywood bombshell, Marilyn Monroe. Continue reading
Betty Boop, Bus Stop, Comic Book, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Gothic Horror, Graphic Novel, Humanoids, Life Drawn, Love Happy, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn's Monsters, Sugar Kane, The Seven Year Itch, Tommy Redolfi
Marilyn Monroe has long been an inspiration to artists and writers. Among the many books devoted to her life and image are a number of comics and graphic novels. Kathryn Hyatt’s Marilyn: The Story of a Woman (1996) and Dana Gachman’s recent contribution to the Tribute series both opt for fairly conventional, if sympathetic narratives. It is from outside the USA that more imaginative retellings have emerged, such as Sergio Toppi’s 16-page comic, plus two full-length books: Jean-Francois Charles’ Shooting Star (2006) and Jose Correa’s Dreams of a Butterfly (2012.)
Tommy Redolfi’s Holy Wood was first published in France in 2016, and is now available in English as Marilyn’s Monsters, published by Life Drawn, a literary imprint from comic book publisher Humanoids. The French-born Redolfi now lives in Los Angeles, and has made several films as well as other graphic novels, including a 2007 tome about one of Marilyn’s idols, Mae West. Marilyn’s Monsters comes with an endorsement from cult filmmaker David Cronenberg: “A brilliant, hallucinatory meditation on the phenomenon of Marilyn Monroe. It will alter your understanding of both Hollywood and Marilyn.” Continue reading
Charles Casillo is a multi-talented author, actor and screenwriter. His books include the novel, The Marilyn Diaries – a reimagining of Monroe’s final years – and a biography of the novelist and gay icon, John Rechy. Casillo was also a consultant and researcher for J. Randy Taraborrelli’s The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. In an appendix, Taraborrelli acknowledged Casillo as one of the “true experts” on Marilyn’s life, an “’ultimate’ Marilyn Monroe fan who understands her character and personality so well.” Now almost a decade later, with Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon finally published, Taraborrelli hails it as “the book he was always meant to write.” Continue reading
Barney Ruditsky, Bobby kennedy, Celebrity, Clark Gable, Confidential, Dan Dailey, Dick Powell, Dorothy Dandridge, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Gossip, Hollywood Research Incorporated, Howard Rushmore, Jeanne Carmen, Jerry Giesler, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Schenck, Johnnie Ray, Marilyn Monroe, Milton Greene, Nicholas Ray, Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Harrison, Robert Mitchum, Robert Slatzer, Rory Calhoun, Samantha Barbas, Scandal, Sonny Tufts, Tabloid, Wrong Door Raid
Samantha Barbas is a professor of law at the University of Buffalo, specialising in the history of America’s mass media. Her previous publications include Movie Crazy: Fans, Stars, and the Cult of Celebrity (2001), and The First Lady of Hollywood: A Biography of Louella Parsons (2005.) In her latest book, Confidential Confidential: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Notorious Scandal Magazine, she explores the lurid history and aftermath of a 1950s publishing phenomenon. Continue reading
This article can also be read at Immortal Marilyn.
Murder Orthodoxies: Sex, Lies and Marilyn
Among the thousand or more books about Marilyn Monroe, there are certain strands – from coffee-table monographs to cultural criticism. One theme is so persistent, however, that it has become a sub-genre in its own right. Armed with dubious confessions and conspiracy theories, their authors argue that Marilyn’s untimely death was the result of foul play in high (and low) places, and these allegations have been seized upon by readers, as well as journalists and documentarians. Continue reading
This article can also be read at Immortal Marilyn.
How do you solve a problem like Norma Jeane, when even her name is in doubt? More than a thousand books to date have been devoted to this question. As Ezra Goodman, at the height of her fame, wrote so prophetically: “The riddle that is Marilyn Monroe has not been solved.” Andrew Norman’s Making Sense of Marilyn is the latest attempt. With a background in medicine, Dr Norman is now a prolific biographer. Marilyn would surely be proud, if rather surprised, to find herself among a litany of subjects as lofty and diverse as Jane Austen and Winston Churchill. Continue reading
A Beautiful Young Woman, A Year in Books, Billie Holiday, Bright Air Black, Buchi Emecheta, David Vann, Elizabeth Winder, Emma Flint, Emma Reyes, Harriette Arnow, Jake Arnott, Jerry Dantzic, Joan Didion, Julian Lopez, Julie Buntin, Julie Lekstrom Himes, Karl Geary, Kathleen Collins, Little Deaths, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Marilyn in Manhattan, Marilyn Monroe, Marlena, Medea, Montpelier Parade, Patricia Bosworth, South and West, The Dollmaker, The Fatal Tree, The Girl From the Metropol Hotel, The Master and Margarita, The Men In My Life, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?
Set in 18th century London, The Fatal Tree is a rip-roaring saga laced with harsh truths, recreating the battle between Jack Sheppard, a young thief famed for his daring escapes, and the ruthlessly corrupt ‘Thief-taker General’, Jonathan Wild, from a very different perspective – that of Sheppard’s lover, the prostitute Edgworth Bess. Using historic slang to great effect, Jake Arnott evokes not only the criminal underworld, but also the parallel black and gay subcultures, as they collide with the double standard of high society and the literati. Continue reading