Edna O’Brien on Jackie, Marilyn

In her newly published memoir, Country Girl, the Irish novelist, Edna O’Brien, recalls her friendship with the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Though she never met Marilyn herself, O’Brien crossed paths with many of her New York friends, including photographer Sam Shaw.

In Country Girl, Edna compares Jackie to another iconic American – MM.

“Long before [Jackie] was a First Lady, she had the certainty of one who was cherished, and the little girl in her held on to that; it was her armour and it saw her through varying nightmares with astonishing poise. Ironically, Marilyn Monroe, who in her sheath dress sang the birthday tribute for President Kennedy in 1962 (when Jackie was noticeably absent), had no sheath at all, the little girl in her had been cut to the core. Jackie was the opposite, she went through life veiled, and left it with her stardust intact.”

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