Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon (Paperback)
Based on new interviews and research, this ground-breaking biography by Charles Casillo explores the secret selves behind Marilyn Monroe’s public facades.
Marilyn Monroe. Her beauty still captivates. Her love life still fascinates. Her story still dominates popular culture. Now, drawing on years of research and dozens of new interviews, this biography cuts through decades of lies and secrets and introduces you to the Marilyn Monroe you always wanted to know: a living, breathing, complex woman, bewitching and maddening, brilliant yet flawed.
Charles Casillo studies Monroe’s life through the context of her times—in the days before feminism, and before there was adequate treatment for bipolar disorder, which Marilyn struggled with. Starting with her abusive childhood, this biography exposes how—in spite of her fractured psyche—Marilyn’s extreme ambition inspired her to transform each celebrated love affair and each tragedy into another step in her journey toward immortality. Casillo fully explores the last two years of her life, including her involvement with both John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, and the mystery of her last day.
Just a few of Casillo's revelations:
*Despite reports of their bitter rivalry, Elizabeth Taylor secretly reached out and tried to help Marilyn during one of her darkest moments.
*The existence of Marilyn’s seminude love scene with Clark Gable—long thought to be lost.
*A few nights before she died, Marilyn encountered Warren Beatty at a party and disclosed some of the reasons for her final despair.
*A meticulously detailed account of the events of her last day, revealing how a series of miscommunications and misjudgments contributed to her death.
About the Author
Charles Casillo is the author of The Marilyn Diaries, The Fame Game, Boys, Lost & Found, and Outlaw: The Lives and Careers of John Rechy. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and many others. His movies include "Let Me Die Quietly" and "Fetish."
“This biography from Casillo fleshes out the icon, telling Monroe’s tale in great and often harrowing detail and showing how the notorious blond pin-up was smarter and shrewder than most realize, yet just as tragic as we knew.” —New York Post, “Most Unforgettable Books of 2018”
“After all I've seen and heard about Marilyn Monroe, this book is a revelation, an earthy, empathic vision of a real woman who happened to be an ethereal goddess. Getting to know Charles Casillo's Marilyn made me feel a level of identification and understanding that was devastating and thrilling.” —Mary Gaitskill
"A refreshing take on the complex and talented Monroe....A+." —Tulsa Book Review
"Casillo explores the myriad facets of Monroe’s personality with a respectful but incisive eye...an intricately nuanced portrait of this misunderstood idol...A worthy addition to the Monroe canon." –Booklist
“A well-written examination of the mystique of a woman who still fascinates decades after her untimely death.”—Publishers Weekly
“A deep dive into the model and screen legend’s glamorous but troubled life…[Casillo] pays particularly sympathetic attention to her emotional journey…a compelling exploration of a beguiling film icon’s life.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Extraordinary…Castillo's sympathetic and psychologically nuanced Marilyn Monroe bio is compulsively readable and well researched.” —Shelf Awareness
“Charles Casillo has managed to further peel back the layers on one of our most complex modern day heroines.” —Stanley Buchthal, co-editor of Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters