07 April 2011

Charlotte Chandler Talks Marlene

Over at Kirkus Reviews, Gerald Bartell talks with Charlotte Chandler about her new Marlene Dietrich biography, while the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed her book here. Michael Musto says he has the dirty details of Marlene's encounter with JFK over at his blog. Stay tuned for Joseph's review of Marlene: A Personal Biograhy, coming soon!


  1. What a coincidence that you mention Dietrich's romp in the sack with JFK! I was just re-reading Kenneth Tynan's account at the blog Planet Peschel. The tendency of Dietrich bards to quote her verbatim both impresses me and raises my skepticism, and I suppose the trend in writing began with Maria Riva's book. Whether the quotes are wholly accurate does not matter to me, though, because they add to the image of Dietrich as a sharp-tongued diva. With that said, I think Tynan's account beats Chandler's with his added shtick about the 2,000 waiting Jews.

  2. Charlotte Chandler did NOT visit Marlene at Avenue Montaigne...
    David Bret

  3. Says who, Bret?

    I know who I am more likely to believe on the matter, having read some of your fantasy accounts!

  4. Has anyone read David Bret's biography of Dietrich? Given that he apparently had a friendship with her, I would like to read it to compare it to his other biographies, which I thoroughly enjoy. Although I've worn every kind of lens to examine Riva and Bach's bios, I tend to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the prose of celebrity biographies and autobiographies, and Bret's writing style certainly tickles my funny bone. Personally, I wouldn't dismiss his biographies for any gossip or fiction that they may contain; rather, I'd praise them as lively examples of textual poaching, which I appreciate considering the bland (Ricky Martin) or tragic (George Michael) realities of current gay celebrities. If I must compare authors, I'd rather read about Clark Gable the gay lumberjack via Bret than Marlene Dietrich the B.L.T. eater via Chandler.