A city, a movie star, and one magical year.
In November of 1954 a young woman dressed plainly in a white oxford, dark sunglasses and a black pageboy wig boards a midnight flight from Los Angeles to New York. As the plane’s engines rev she breathes a sigh of relief, lights a cigarette and slips off her wig revealing a tangle of fluffy blonde curls. Marilyn Monroe was leaving Hollywood behind, and along with it a failed marriage and a frustrating career. She needed a break from the scrutiny and insanity of LA. She needed Manhattan.
In Manhattan, the most famous woman in the world can wander the streets unbothered, spend hours at the Met getting lost in art, and afternoons buried in the stacks of the Strand. Marilyn begins to live a life of the mind in New York; she dates Arthur Miller, dances with Truman Capote and drinks with Carson McCullers. Even though she had never lived there before, in New York, Marilyn is home.
In Marilyn in Manhattan, the iconic blonde bombshell is not only happy, but successful. She breaks her contract with Fox Studios to form her own production company, a groundbreaking move that makes her the highest paid actress in history and revolutionizes the entertainment industry. A true love letter to Marilyn, and a joyous portrait of a city bursting with life and art, Marilyn in Manhattan is a beautifully written, lively look at two American treasures: New York and Marilyn Monroe, and sheds new light on one of our most enduring icons.
Winder (Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953) offers a captivating look at famed actress Marilyn Monroe's escape from Los Angeles and rebirth in New York, far from Hollywood's spotlight. In 1954, Monroe leaves a broken marriage to Joe DiMaggio to start an independent film company called Marilyn Monroe Productions. Despite being one of the world's most famous actresses, Monroe was surprisingly powerless. The film world was controlled by men who called all the shots and regarded her as a "dumb blonde." Winder adds a new page to Monroe's story by recounting how Milton Greene, a young photographer, helped her seize control of her career and walk away from Hollywood's constraints. The move east proves transformative: Monroe starts to transform her wardrobe, mindset, and public image, and this change leads to a host of fruitful new friendships with the likes of acting teacher Lee Strasberg and Truman Capote. She also finds a new position of power in the film industry and new love in the form of playwright Arthur Miller. Winder is a gifted writer and Monroe a fascinating, complex subject; this book will prove nearly impossible to put down for the actress's many fans.