Book News: ‘Marilyn My Marilyn,’ and More

Marilyn, My Marilyn, a novel by Art Johnson, has just been published in paperback and via Kindle. The eye-catching cover shows Marilyn backstage in 1956. Here’s a brief synopsis:

“It’s the summer of ’62, and twenty-five-year-old journalist Rory Long receives a phone call at quitting time: it’s Marilyn Monroe. She wants to personally compliment him on a review he wrote of the new collected works of poet Carl Sandburg. She then enlists the cub reporter to tell her story; she doesn’t want to be remembered as a joke. When they meet, Rory is captivated by her knowledge of classical music, art and literature. As their relationship intensifies, Rory experiences a coming-of-age inspired by this side of Marilyn few know, and at the same time, Marilyn is influenced by Rory to begin reassessing her own life …”

And coming in August, Marilyn in Manhattan is a novel by French author Philippe Ward, published in English for the first time. (It shares its title with Elizabeth Winder’s 2017 non-fiction book, as well as a 1996 documentary.)

“Kristin Arroyo is a former Marine who served in Iraq. In the personal effects of her late grandfather – a once famous photographer – she discovers several unpublished photos of Marilyn Monroe. With the help of a friend, she decides to put on an exhibition to honor her grandfather; unfortunately, nothing goes as planned, as a mysterious organization suddenly starts pursuing her, trying to kill her. Kristin comes to realize that her fate is mysteriously tied to the photographs of Marilyn and, if she is to save her life, she must reconstruct the last days of the Hollywood star and solve the mystery surrounding her death – but did Marilyn really die on August 5, 1962?”

‘Marilyn in Manhattan’ Revived

The 1998 documentary, Marilyn in Manhattan, is now available to view on several video-on-demand channels, reports the New York Post, interviewing Joshua Greene.

“’The Actors Studio, [my father’s] crowd and the jazz scene were doors which took Marilyn into another world which had nothing to do with Hollywood glamour,’ says Greene, who now runs a photo archive in Oregon. ‘She educated herself by surrounding herself with jazz musicians and intellectual minds. It was all about being a professional.’

Meanwhile, Greene still has the stuffed cat with calico fur that Monroe gave him for his second or third birthday. He’s forgotten its name, but will always treasure those playful memories of his beloved stand-in aunt.

‘Water would collect [in the yard] outside our house and I would splash in the puddles,’ he says. ‘I’d be naked as a jaybird, of course, and Marilyn would come and splash with me. We’d have these little water fights, stuff like that. It was pure, simple, innocent fun.’”