My review of Dr Andrew Norman’s Making Sense of Marilyn, a concise biography and psychological portrait, is published at Immortal Marilyn.
The latest edition of Art Decades quarterly is now available from Amazon stores worldwide (and for £11.14 in the UK.) At the heart of this issue is a tribute to cult cinema, with a profile of ‘sexploitation’ king Joe Sarno; an unpublished interview with Jess Franco, the Spanish filmmaker famed for his erotic horror flicks; and a roundtable discussion with the authors of a new book, It Came From the Video Aisle, including a special focus on director Charles Band, best-known for his horror comedies.
Elsewhere, there’s a short story from Les Bohem, set in the post-hippie California of the 1970s; a spotlight on Denver’s ‘totally rad’ nostalgia shop, Fifty-Two 80s; and extracts from Singin’ In French, a new anthology co-edited by Marcelline Block. For me, the highlight was ‘Suzie’s Zoo’, a very moving piece from Kelley Richey in which she explores childhood memories through film. She also contributes three photo-stories which celebrate nature, beauty and the coming of spring.
And finally from me, a review of Elizabeth Winder’s Marilyn in Manhattan, one of my favourite books of 2017; and an interview with Cy Forrest, author of The Punished, a ‘dystopian noir’ which alternates between the inhabitants of a ghost village during World War II and the corporate sexism of the 1980s.
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
Upon hearing the sad news of Christine Keeler’s passing, here is the epilogue to my novel, Wicked Baby, in which I reimagined the years following the Profumo Affair, in her voice. The photo above, shared by her son on social media, shows Christine enjoying freedom after leaving prison in 1964. Continue reading
Ava Gardner: the name conjures timeless elegance. She was a North Carolina sharecropper’s daughter whose beauty gave her the regal bearing of a goddess. Beyond the glamorous aura, she is most often recalled for her stormy personal life, and especially her marriage to Frank Sinatra. But this is only a partial vision of one of the greatest female stars of the 1940s and 50s. Even the most devout cinephiles often overlook her unique contribution to post-war American cinema. Continue reading
As I write, the hardcover edition of Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed is currently available for just £10.13 on Amazon UK – which is less than half the original price, and over £6 cheaper than the paperback. For readers abroad, it’s now £13.81 from the Book Depository (with free shipping to most countries.) I don’t know how long this bargain offer will last, so if you haven’t bought a copy yet, get it while you can!
It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed was published. I feel immensely proud to have been part of bringing her unjustly neglected legacy back to the spotlight, and will be eternally grateful to my writing partner, Eric M. Woodard, for giving me that opportunity. Continue reading
Thanks to my readers for your continued support and have a very happy holiday, whether you’re at home, at work or far away. (And if all you want for Christmas is to settle down with a good book, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed is now available on Kindle.)
A Girl Called Pearl, Alexander Baron, Annabel Abbs, Arturo's Island, City of Secrets, Eimear McBride, Elena Ferrante, Elsa Morante, Emma Cline, Emma Donoghue, Fallen Land, Harper Lee, Javier Marias, Jean Rhys, Jill Dawson, LaRose, Leonard Michaels, Louise Erdrich, Lucia Joyce, Madonna in a Fur Coat, Magda Szabo, Michelle Morgan, News of the World, Patricia Highsmith, Patrick Hamilton, Paulette Jiles, Sabahattin Ali, Sara Taylor, Stewart O'Nan, Sylvia, Taylor Brown, The Beach at Night, The Crime Writer, The Door, The Girls, The Joyce Girl, The Lauras, The Lesser Bohemians, The Lost Daughter, The Wonder, Thus Bad Begins
This extraordinary second novel from Eimear McBride charts the unlikely romance of a young Irish drama student and a world-weary actor, set in gritty, hedonistic North London during the 1990s. Together the lovers confront their demons, and the narrative is both emotionally brutal and often highly erotic. Continue reading