My Story, published in 2007 by Taylor Trade.In 1954, when she was twenty-eight and a newly successful star, Marilyn Monroe dictated her life story to writer Ben Hecht, however the book was not published, either because Marilyn changed her mind, or her (then) husband Joe DiMaggio objected to it. Hecht also felt that Marilyn was not completely honest, fantasizing and dramatizing, perhaps unintentionally, parts of her life. (This information is from Goddess: the Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers). However, any Marilyn Monroe fan wants to read all of what she had to say for ourselves, and that is why I am so thrilled that Ben Hecht's transcriptions from those long, intimate interviews are available.My Story: Illustrated Edition is a an especial treat, being a completely beautiful book. The pages are large, bright and glossy and filled with brightly coloured, crisp, digitally restored photographs from the Milton H. Greene archives. The introduction by the photographer's son, Joshua Greene, discusses many of the photos in detail, though has curiously little to say about the text and does not mention the reasons it was not published until after her death. But perhaps we don't need that, anyway, perhaps it is good to just (for once) let Marilyn explain her own life, without the interpretations of the myriad of biographers who have, over the years, treated her either with pity or contempt. It is interesting that Marilyn's voice comes through so clearly in these pages, one can easily picture her dictating to Hecht. She has a remarkably clear way of describing places, people and events. At times, her story is sad, even heartbreaking (although anyone who is a fan of MM should expect as much) other times it is simply thrilling to "hear" Marilyn describe the intimate details of her life to you. Obviously, no Marilyn Monroe fan should be without a copy of this book, and I am very glad that Joshua Greene was involved with it, allowing readers a chance to see his father's stunningly beautiful photographs.
This is a review regarding the illustrated edition of