By Joyce Carol Oates,

Book cover of Blonde

Book description

The National Book Award finalist and national bestseller exploring the life and legend of Marilyn Monroe

Now a Netflix Film starring Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson

In one of her most ambitious works, Joyce Carol Oates boldly reimagines the inner, poetic, and spiritual life of…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Blonde as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Blonde is a fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe. I tend not to read thick books – and this is over 600 pages – and I only had a passing interest in Monroe before beginning it, but the book was highly recommended so I gave it a go. I’m glad that I did. 

This is a colossus of a book – in size, in scope, in adaptation, in emotion. The mood is tragedy – tragedy on so many levels it hurts to think about them. Oates pitches the 'Monroe' character perfectly. And for me, the book's strength comes from the fact…

I have never had much interest in Marilyn Monroe, but as an author of biofiction, I was curious about the narrative techniques Oates used to recount her life. To my surprise, I found myself profoundly moved by Monroe’s story. Oates depicts the young Norma Jean Baker as an intelligent but innocent girl propelled into the limelight by her looks. Abandoned by her father and abused by her mother, she craves affection, clinging to those who appear to love her but only want to use her. Studio magnates transform her into Marilyn Monroe, a thoroughly artificial creation. By switching strategically from…

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