Salon recommends

An irresistible collection of writings on Marilyn Monroe and more of our favorite new books.


Salon Staff
July 29, 2002 11:26PM (UTC)

What we're reading, what we're liking

All The Available Light: A Marilyn Monroe Reader by Yona Zeldis McDonough, ed.
I'm not even a particular fan of Monroe, who (on paper at least) seems all too schematic in her appeal: a fabulously sexy woman radically devoid of even a hint of the threat of female sexual power. But the truth is that no sooner did I pick up this volume, which contains some of the most legendary writings on Monroe, than I got sucked in. It's a clichi, yes, but the secret of true stars is their ability to contain myriad contradictions and yet to always seem to be more than the sum of their parts. There's no Norman Mailer here (he's always just writing about himself anyway), but Clare Booth Luce's famous essay about how, far from killing her, Hollywood saved Monroe's life is worth the price of admission, plus you get Albert Mobilio's wonderful meditation on Tom Ewell ("The Seven Year Itch") as Monroe's ideal costar, too.

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-- Laura Miller

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