This volume represents more than twenty-five years of writing about female icons and biography. Rollyson provides the bits and pieces that resulted not only in his biography of Marilyn Monroe but also in much of the work he has subsequently done on Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, and on the nature of biography itself.
This book includes a selection of Rollyson's New York Sun book reviews dealing with female icons such as Mary Stuart, Mary Wollstonecraft, The Brontes, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath. Rollyson's writing about icons has provoked him to question the process by which selves are defined. Discovering the shaping mechanisms of the self is simultaneously a way of understanding how biographies are built.
In the end, this book should be of interest not merely to devotees of Monroe, Sontag, and other icons but also to anyone curious about the nature of biography and the biographer.
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June 06, 2005
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