A sweeping, mesmerising novel of the most enduring and evocative cultural icon of the 20th century. 'Nobody has ever caught Marilyn more brilliantly ... Show synopsis A sweeping, mesmerising novel of the most enduring and evocative cultural icon of the 20th century. 'Nobody has ever caught Marilyn more brilliantly than Oates' -- John Sutherland Who was Norma Jeane Baker? In Blonde we are given an intimate, unsparing vision of the woman who became Marilyn Monroe like no other: the child who visits the cinema with her mother; the orphan whose mother is declared mad; the woman who changes her name to become an actress; the fated celebrity, lover, comedienne, muse and icon. Joyce Carol Oates tells an epic American story of how a fragile, gifted young woman makes and remakes her identity, surviving against crushing odds, perpetually in conflict and intensely driven. Here is the very essence of the individual hungry and needy for love: from an elusive mother; from a mysterious, distant father and from a succession of lovers and husbands. In her most ambitious work to date Joyce Carol Oates sympathetically explores the inner life of the woman destined to become Hollywood's most compelling legend. Blonde is a brilliant and deeply moving portrait of a culture hypnotised by its own myths and the shattering reality of the personal effects it had on the woman who became Marilyn Monroe.