Friday, July 8, 2011

Five best: literary tales of real-life crimes

Ron Hansen is the author, most recently, of the true-crime novel A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of literary tales of real-life crimes.

One book on the list:
by Joyce Carol Oates (2000)

I have read several biographies of Marilyn Monroe but found none that can match Joyce Carol Oates's "Blonde"—a striking and tragic portrait of a lost, anxious girl who would in time become an exploited, indulged, mercurial star with an endless hunger for love and security. The familiar outlines of the Monroe story are here: marrying fame in Joe DiMaggio and seeking a father figure in playwright Arthur Miller, neither of whom could help her. She was seemingly involved with President John F. Kennedy when she was found dead of a drug overdose. This end to her life is generally viewed as a suicide; "Blonde" depicts Monroe's death, convincingly if controversially, as murder.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Blonde appears on Janet Fitch's book list.

--Marshal Zeringue