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
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, 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
Channel 4, David Gainsborough Roberts, Documentaries, Elizabeth Winder, Frieda Hull, Immortal Marilyn, Julien's Auctions, Lee Strasberg, Lois Banner, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe: Auction of a Lifetime, Sarah Churchwell
A Manual for Cleaning Women, Alberto Moravia, Backlands, Before Marilyn, Bobbie Gentry, C. Joseph Greaves, Caryl Phillips, Cathi Unsworth, Clarice Lispector, David L. Jones, David Wills, Eileen, Elena Ferrante, Encyclopedia Madonnica 20, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fires in the Dark, Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee, Louise Doughty, Lucia Berlin, Madonna, Marilyn in the Flash, Marilyn Monroe, Matthew Rettenmund, Michelle Morgan, Ode to Billie Jo, Otessa Moshfegh, Rebecca Wait, Stewart O'Nan, Tara Murtha, The Followers, The Ipswich Witch, The Lost Child, The Story of the Lost Child, The Time of Indifference, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo), Victoria Shorr, West of Sunset, Without the Moon, Wuthering Heights
Reading Clarice Lispector for the first time is like falling in love. Each of her stories is a rare jewel. Shocking, funny and wildly imaginative, this collection is a landmark, reclaiming her as one of the underrated voices of the twentieth century.
The final volume in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series rages like a cyclone. No happy endings here, only the transcendence of real art.
Lucia Berlin was a wonderful American writer, whose stories are warm, yet unflinching. She led an eventful life, and while there are strong autobiographical elements in her work, she was also richly imaginative. Continue reading
All About Eve, Chloral Hydrate, Christian Science, Clifton Webb, Dr Edward Spencer Cowles, Dr Hyman Engelberg, Dr Ralph Greenson, Fredric March, George Arliss, George Cukor, Immortal Marilyn, Jeanne Eagels, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, Jenny Lind, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Schenck, Joseph M. Schenck, Lee Strasberg, Marilyn Monroe, Missouri, Rain, Sadie Thompson, Ted Coy, W. Somerset Maugham
Earlier this month, I posted two extracts from The Mmm Girl, my Marilyn-inspired novel, which describe Marilyn’s attempt to remake Rain. It was not to be, but many thought she was the only actress who could match Jeanne’s performance as Sadie Thompson.
Marilyn also features as one of several ‘other Sadies’ in Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed (co-authored with Eric Woodard.) Here is a short excerpt from the introduction to our new biography.
There are surprising parallels between the life of Jeanne Eagels and Marilyn Monroe, another tragic star. Like Jeanne, Marilyn had known poverty and pursued her career with fierce determination. The hauntingly lovely Jeanne was initially typecast as an ingénue, while Marilyn fought to escape the image of a sexy, dumb blonde. Their lives were chronicled in microscopic detail by the press, and each came to rely on an evergrowing entourage of doctors and acting coaches. Eagels’ failed marriage to a famed football player mirrored Monroe’s to a retired baseball icon, and both frequently clashed with their bosses and co-stars. Marilyn once was even considering a remake of Rain.
But while thousands of books and scores of documentaries, films, and videos have been dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, Jeanne Eagels has been unjustly neglected. She was robbed of the chance to bring Sadie Thompson to the big screen, though those who saw her onstage said her greatest performance was never surpassed. In her lifetime, Eagels briefly enjoyed the critical acclaim Monroe craved, and would finally achieve posthumously. But in the years after Jeanne’s death, a steady trickle of malicious gossip clouded her glow, reducing her to that most spectral of beings—a legend without a face. In Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, we explore the woman behind the enigma, a feisty yet fragile diva who became a genuine phenomenon. A phenomenon worth revealing … and rediscovering.