FEMINIST HISTORIAN and scholar Lois Banner has spent the better part of a decade researching the life and career of Marilyn Monroe. Some of her conclusions may be surprising, but she dug deep. Her scholarly training, combined with access to previously unexplored material, allowed her to shed new light on Monroe in this fiftieth anniversary of her death at the age of 36.
I sat down with Professor Banner at her Santa Monica home to discuss her new book, Marilyn Monroe: The Passion and the Paradox (Bloomsbury Books), which promises to be as controversial as it is fascinating.
Chris Freeman teaches English and gender studies at USC in Los Angeles.