Joyce Carol Oates published Blonde, a fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe, in 2000. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. In 2001, CBS broadcast a mini-series based closely on Oates’s novel. The major difference between the mini-series and the novel was the notion that Joyce Carol Oates explores in detail that Marilyn Monroe was assassinated was left out of the TV version of Blonde.
Joyce Carol Oates started out writing a novella about Marilyn Monroe, but Oates realized around page 175 there was a lot more story to tell. Blonde is a quirky book. Oates deals with most of Marilyn Monroe’s love affairs. She refers to Marilyn’s husbands by using initials. If you read this 700 page tome, you’ll learn what a tortured life Marilyn Monroe led. Some blondes don’t have more fun. Do you have a favorite work–short story or novel–by Joyce Carol Oates? GRADE: B+