Marlene

Marlene Dietrich, Author Grove/Atlantic $18.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1117-3
Attansio's translation from the German echoes the voice of the actress, famous since the 1930s as the quintessence of glamor and beauty. Yet Dietrich herself and the intimates she writes about remain obscure in the narrative, despite some deeply moving images: she makes palpable, for example, her bewildered pain as a child in Germany during the World War I, experiences that contributed to her sturdy independence. And there is enormous pathos in her recollections of platonic friendship with her beloved Hemingway and with the doomed ``sparrow,'' Edith Piaf. Dietrich writes of entertaining the allied troops during WW II, of her SRO concerts around the world and of her performances on stage and TV. She expresses admiration for Joseph von Sternberg, the director who starred her, an ``unknown,'' in the film classic The Blue Angel. But only by indirection does the memoir disclose the personhood of Dietrich, mother of Maria and wife to the late Rudolf Sieber: ``I've done my duty. I've assumed my responsibilities. That's all that counts for me.'' Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Cosmopolitan. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71088-1
Ebook - 276 pages - 978-1-4532-7469-9
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