Author(s): Lois W. Banner
Marilyn Monroe died on 5th August, 1962. Since then, the appetite for information about Monroe has proved insatiable. Lois Banner's new biography is revelatory. Banner had access to material no one else has seen, from a trove of personal papers to facts and anecdotes about her childhood and her death. Banner traces the eleven foster homes Marilyn went to, uncovering the sexual abuse she suffered and her bisexuality. She is also the first biographer to read Monroe's psychiatric records, revealing a woman deeply rooted in paradox. No biographer before has attempted to analyse - much less realise - most of these aspects of her personality. Lois Banner has.
With revelatory new information, from a leading feminist scholar and biographer, a nuanced and sympathetic biography of Marilyn Monroe
Here, finally, is a book that does not sensationalise her erratic and exotic life, but reveals her as the damaged, childlike and lost feminist she was ... An excellent book ... A detailed narrative that does not scream with hyperbole, or moan with lust. It is much sadder than that ... It is fascinating Daily Telegraph Banner presents a rich and often imaginative narrative of Marilyn's life. By the end, Monroe feels at once like an earthly being - an almost-friend - and an enigma, still slightly out of focus and just beyond reach. That seems right New York Times Book Review Exciting to read; Banner's admiration of, and belief in, her subject really animate the text -- susie Boyt Financial Times Banner gives us a powerful portrayal of a savvy self-publicist who worked tirelessly to ensure her trajectory from glamour model to screen goddess -- frances Wilson Sunday Telegraph 'Book of the Week' Offering a new interpretation of the star's life which draws on feminism and the history of gender ... Banner's book provides the most detailed account yet of Marilyn's fractured childhood -- joan Smith Independent 'Book of the Week' Rigorously researched and scholarly Daily Express A dazzling portrait of a fragile but remarkably ambitious and determined personality, as spiritual as she was corporeal, as canny as she was careless Elle Offers a new perspective on her story. Drawing on new material from her diaries and private papers, it's a revelatory and intelligent tribute Good Housekeeping Banner elegantly and skillfully chronicles Monroe's short life ... [she] paints a portrait of Monroe as a complicated, many-faceted woman Publishers Weekly
Lois Banner is a founder of the field of women's history and cofounder of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, the major academic event in the field. She was the first woman president of the American Studies Association, and in 2006 she won the Bode-Pearson Prize for Lifetime Achievement. She is the author of ten books, including her acclaimed American Beauty and, most recently, MM--Personal, which reproduces and discusses items from Marilyn Monroe's personal archive. In addition to her books on Monroe, Banner is a major collector of her artefacts. Banner is a professor of history and gender studies at USC and lives in Southern California.