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I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy of historian Lois Banner’s new book on Marilyn Monroe:  “Marilyn: the Passion and the Paradox” – John Banville has written an  excellent piece on the book in the Guardian, and recalls his own early fascination with Monroe.  Today, August 5th, is the anniversary of Marilyn’s death and she remains universally loved, fifty years on – but imagine my surprise when I visited her grave in Westwood Village cemetery in 2008 – the plaque and surrounds were lipstick-stained and cigarette butts littered the ground in front. It seemed uncared for somehow – almost a metaphor for her life while she was alive….

I was eleven years old when Marilyn died, and my fascination with her life has developed over the years.  I am hoping that the Banner biography will shed more light on the story of this most beautiful and enigmatic woman.