Marilyn’s Last Sessions: A Novel

Marilyn’s Last Sessions, a 2006 novel by French author Michel Schneider, about her relationship with psychoanalyst Dr Ralph Greenson, will be published in English on November 3.

The book inspired a 2009 documentary of the same name. While I felt that the film blurred fact and fiction too liberally, Schneider’s novel has, so far, been critically acclaimed. It does concern me, however, that Schneider was inspired by John Miner’s disputed transcripts of tapes supposedly made by Marilyn for Greenson, which have never been found.

Andrew O’Hagan, author of The Life and Times of Maf the Dog and His Friend Marilyn Monroe, describes Marilyn’s Last Sessions as ‘marvellous and insightful, a real vision of human delicacy, and one of the international novels of the year.’

Lisa Appignanesi, who wrote about Marilyn and psychoanalysis in her 2008 book, Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors From 1800, has said that ‘Celluloid meets psychoanalysis in this riveting evocation of Marilyn Monroe’s life and ultimate suicide. As an analyst himself, Michel Schneider’s perceptions about the star’s relations with her last psychoanalyst are astute, and he writes with great flair and insight. Tender, provocative, brimming with perception, this is a novel about both our fascination with celebrity and its inner life.’

Schneider will discuss Marilyn’s Last Sessions with Appignanesi at London’s Freud Museum on November 1 at 7pm. Tickets £10/£7 concessions.

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