Marilyn Monroe’s Story Reinvented in ‘The Blonde’

If you think you know the story of Marilyn Monroe, think again. New York Times Bestselling author Anna Godberson released her novel The Blonde this week, a thrilling page-turner that reinvents the famous story of Marilyn. Factually, the dates and incidents of Marilyn’s life mostly are historically accurate, with one major change: Marilyn’s a secret spy for the KGB. Plot twist!

In The Blonde, Marilyn reports to Alexei Lazarev, a secret KGB agent who coerces Monroe into spying on the US government. The book takes place at the dawn of the Cold War, and the Russians see Marilyn’s young Hollywood glam appeal as a device they can use to their advantage. So, the KGB give Marilyn a brave assignment: Seduce a young Senator from Massachusetts by the name of John F. Kennedy who has aspirations of becoming the President. From there the plot thickens, twists, and turns as it deviates from reality and a new imagining unfolds on the page — and it’s one that the reader would never guess.

Says author Anna about crafting The Blonde:

“When I was working on The Blonde I avoided fictional representations of Marilyn because I didn’t want to be influenced or to inadvertently steal another writer’s observations. Mostly I read biographies, conspiracy-minded books about her death, watched her movies, and studied the work of the many photographers who became enthralled by her image and persona.”

It’s true Anna’s not the first to try her hand at writing Marilyn. Literary icon Joyce Carol Oates famously wrote Blonde, one of the most well-known novels about Marilyn. Released in 2001, Oates’ novel covers Marilyn’s complete life, not exactly straightforward in storytelling but nonetheless a sweeping biography. The book manages to capture Marilyn’s life as it was: complicated, beautiful, and inspiring. Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty is rumored to be portraying Oates’ version of Marilyn in a film adaptation of the comprehensive book.

In the now fifty years after Marilyn’s untimely death at age 36 in 1962, there’s still endless wonderment and intrigue surrounding the seductive blonde bombshell. Marilyn was born as Norma Jeane Mortensen in June 1926, and, as she reinvented herself with a new Hollywood name, writers, actresses, and the media have been reinventing, reimagining, and redoing Marilyn ever since.

Image via Amazon

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