Charles Casillo: ‘The Marilyn Diaries’

First published in 1999, Charles Casillo’s novel, The Marilyn Diaries, has been reissued in paperback and ebook formats.

Including new material, The Marilyn Diaries has received a ringing endorsement from the legendary entertainment columnist (and Marilyn expert), Liz Smith:

“Casillo, who also wrote an acclaimed biography about City of Night author John Rechy, published the first edition of The Marilyn Diaries before there was such a glut of ‘novels based on’ MM. And though it is fiction, this book sticks close to the facts of her last months (and the never proven rumors of Kennedy affairs.) More interesting, it sounds like Monroe. If she had kept a diary, it might have read like Casillo’s fiction. (The real-life Monroe was once asked in an interview if she kept a diary? She said: ‘Not really. Sometimes I would write things down, but then … I’d tear them up!’)

The Marilyn Diaries really hits paydirt when Casillo’s ‘Marilyn’ considers the trajectory of her career … ruminates bitterly on her marriage to Arthur Miller … and pragmatically recalls her long struggle to the top. There are some entertainingly fanciful episodes  a ladies room brawl with Elizabeth Taylor, a clandestine luncheon with Jackie Kennedy but the essential honesty and vulnerability of our heroine is never lost. Just as she never lost those qualities in her real life.” New York Social Diary

First edition, 1999