Marilyn: A Biography; Pictures by the World’s Foremost Photographers. Produced by Lawrence Schiller; Designed by Allen Hurlburt. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1 August; London: Hodder and Stoughton, 8 October. 111 photographs, 271 pp., $19.95.
No dedication. Mailer’s contribution was originally to have been a 25,000-word preface to a selection of Monroe photographs, but it grew into a 95,000 word biography. Rpt: Advance excerpts appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal (73.17, 73.29), Atlantic (73.28) and New York Review of Books (73.34). A three-hour adaptation by Dalene Young, “Marilyn: The Untold Story,” appeared on ABC-TV on 28 September 1980. The 1988 reprint edition (New York: Galahad) carries the title, Marilyn: The Classic. Two excerpts also appeared in The Time of Our Time (98.7). See other 1973 entries, 75.1, 75.3, 80.14, 80.15, 81.4, 82.9, 86.22, 86.25, 94.5.
|“||. . . the next question is whether a life like hers is not apathetic to biographical tools. Certainly the two guides already published show the limitations of a conventional approach. The first, by Maurice Zolotow, Marilyn Monroe, written while she was still alive, is filled with interesting psychoanalytical insights of the sort one can hear at a New York coffee table when two intelligent people are analyzing a third, but his material is reamed with overstressed and hollow anecdotes untrustworthy by the very style of their prose, a feature writer heating up the old dishes of other feature writers, and so a book which has fewer facts than factoids (to join the hungry ranks of those who coin a word), that is, facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper . . .||”|
|— Mailer, 73.30|
- Bengis, Ingrid (October 1973). "Monroe according to Mailer: One Legend Feeds on Another". Ms. pp. 44–47. Mixed. Rpt: Lennon (1986).
- Fuller, Edmund (September 24, 1973). "Mailer's Sexploitation of Marilyn". Wall Street Journal. p. 14. Negative.
- James, Clive (October 1973). "Mailer's 'Marilyn.'". Commentary. pp. 44–49. Positive.
- Kael, Pauline (July 22, 1973). "A Rip-Off with Genius". New York Times Book Review. pp. 1–3. Mixed. See Mailer’s comment on Kael in 73.12.
- Seelye, John (September 1, 1973). "Review of Marilyn". New Republic. pp. 25–27. Positive.
- Sweeney, Louise (August 1, 1973). "Review of Marilyn". Christian Science Monitor. p. 8. Positive.
- Wood, Michael (September 20, 1973). "Kissing Hitler". New York Review of Books. pp. 22–34. Negative.
- Bufithis, Philip H. (1978). Norman Mailer. Modern Literature Monographs. New York: Frederick Unger. pp. 116–120.
- Glenday, Michael K. (2008). "From Monroe to Picasso: Norman Mailer and the Life-Study". Mailer Review. 2: 348–363.
- Lodge, David (1988). "Mailer and Female". Write On: Occasional Essays, 1965–85. London: Penguin. p. 88–91.
- Merrill, Robert (1992). Norman Mailer Revisited. Boston: Twayne Publishers. pp. 139–145. ISBN 080573967X.
- Rollyson, Carl (2005). "Marilyn: Mailer's Novel Biography". Female Icons: Marilyn Monroe to Susan Sontag. New York: iUniverse. pp. 34–50.
- Wenke, Joseph (2014) . Mailer's America. Hanover, NH; London: University Press of New England for University of Connecticut. pp. 198–203. ISBN 0874513936.