Marilyn's Daughter

John Rechy, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $19.95 (531p) ISBN 978-0-88184-272-2
Rechy ( City of Night ) amateurishly explores a tantalizing situation in this wordy and occasionally lurid novel: Is it possible that Marilyn Monroe gave birth to an illegitimate daughter by Robert Kennedy shortly before she died in 1962? Following the suicide of Enid Morgan in 1980, her 18-year-old daughter, Normalyn, finds a shocking note saying that her real mother was Monroe, Enid's longtime friend. Desperate to learn the truth, Normalyn arrives in California to question a Pulitzer Prize-winning author obsessed with Monroe's last days, an aging gossip columnist who loathed the blonde actress and a married couple formerly employed by Monroe's movie studio to sanitize the star's public images. Rechy also spotlights the pathetic, debauched lives of have-nots Normalyn meets, such as Troja, a black transsexual who performs as Monroe's daughter in a tawdry nightclub, and the ghoulish members of a cult group called the Dead Movie Stars. Even more vulgar are the explicitly described intimate encounters between Monroe and John and Robert Kennedy. Rechy's attempts at profundity and suspense fail utterly. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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