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Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Marilyn Monroe is not just one of the essential movie stars, she is an inexhaustible subject for writers, too many of whom work backwards from her sad death to depict a sad life. Not Elizabeth Winder, who devotes her book to a single year: 1954, Marilyn's "Year of Joy," as the subtitle has it, when the world's biggest star left Hollywood for Manhattan to study acting. Many of her classmates and pals became big stars, too, which makes encountering them here as much fun for the reader as it seems to have been for the optimistic, energized Marilyn of this book. — From MARILYN IN MANHATTAN (Elizabeth Winder)


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 Elizabeth Winder's 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.

About the Author

Elizabeth Winder is the author of PAIN, PARTIES, WORK: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Antioch Review, American Letters, and other publications. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, and earned an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University.

Praise For…

"A glittering, poignant tribute to one of America's most stylish icons as well as it's most stylish city."
- Kate Betts, New York Times bestselling author of My Paris Dream and Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style

"In this thrilling, evocative book, Elizabeth Winder shows us Marilyn at a moment of transition, a Marilyn we’ve seldom seen before—independent, introspective, curious, and seductive. It’s a knockout.”
— Luke Barr, author of Provence, 1970: MFK Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard and the Reinvention of American Taste

"A beautifully written glimpse into a year in the life of a complicated, brave woman whose keen intelligence and ambition has been largely overshadowed by her iconic beauty. Winder takes the reader on a fascinating and intimate journey with Marilyn that ends all too soon."
Kate Andersen Brower, New York Times bestselling author of First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies and The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House

“Captivating…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.”
Publishers Weekly

“Illuminating… A touching, textured, and compellingly written slice of the iconic actress's life.”

“A beautiful love letter to one of the most celebrated icons of all time" — The Washington Blade

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250064981
ISBN-10: 1250064988
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: March 13th, 2018
Pages: 304
Language: English