Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936

Edward Sorel. Norton/Liveright, $25.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-63149-023-1
Acclaimed illustrator and writer Sorel (The Mural at the Waverly Inn: A Portrait of Greenwich Village Bohemians) shares his lifelong appreciation of classic film in this utterly charming, and colorfully illustrated, account of the life of Oscar-winning actor Mary Astor (1906–1987). Astor, best known for The Maltese Falcon (1941), lived a life that was often more fascinating than the roles she was offered. Despite being acclaimed both for her talent and beauty, she suffered several professional lows and endured one of the most scandalous episodes of 1930s Hollywood when her ex-husband stole her diary and used passages revealing her affairs to contest Astor’s custody of their daughter. After coming across old tabloid newspapers detailing the trial, Sorel developed an obsession with Astor that has lasted for more than 50 years. In this succinct and poignant book, Sorel traces the trajectory of Astor’s career as it melds with his own. She emerges as a troubled figure who struggled to navigate the choppy waters of success. The author’s lively narrative and vibrant images gives the actor a new role as an artist’s muse. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 04/25/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-63149-024-8
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