Dark Sparkler

Finished Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

The lives of more than twenty-five actresses lost before their time—from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy—explored in haunting, provocative new work by an acclaimed poet and actress

Amber Tamblyn is both an award-winning film and television actress and an acclaimed poet. As such she is deeply fascinated-and intimately familiar—with the toll exacted from young women whose lives are offered in sacrifice as starlets. The stories of these actresses, both famous and obscure-tragic stories of suicide, murder, obscurity, and other forms of death—inspired this empathic and emotionally charged collection of new poetic work.

Featuring subjects from Marilyn Monroe and Frances Farmer to Dana Plato and Brittany Murphy—and paired with original artwork commissioned for the book by luminaries including David Lynch, Adrian Tome, Marilyn Manson, and Marcel Dzama—Dark Sparkler is a surprising and provocative collection from a young artist of wide-ranging talent, culminating in an extended, confessional epilogue of astonishing candor and poetic command.

Actresses featured in Dark Sparkler include:

Marilyn Monroe
Brittany Murphy
Dana Plato
Jayne Mansfield
Jean Harlow
Dominique Dunne
Sharon Tate
Heather O’Rourke
Bridgette Andersen
Shannon Michelle Wilsey
Judith Barsi
Peg Entwistle
Carole Landis
Anissa Jones
Susan Peters
Barbara La Marr
Lucy Gordon
Sirkka Sari
Li Tobler
Thelma Todd
Samantha Smith
Lupe Valez
Taruni Sachdev
Rebecca Shaeffer”

This is a collection of poetry honoring actresses who died in unfortunate (generally tragic but not always) ways.  Some of them I’ve heard of and some were vaguely familiar and some, of course, I had absolutely no idea who they were.  That’s almost the beauty of this collection—it brings these women back to life and, hopefully, will encourage people to learn more about them.

Obviously I know Amber Tamblyn as an actress (she’s actually been in some of my favorite movies) but she’s a really talented poet.  You can tell that she feels empathy for all these women (and children, in a few of the cases) and it makes reading this book a haunting experience.

It’s not for everyone—probably some will find it morbid—but I hope Dark Sparkler finds its people.  And I hope Amber Tamblyn keeps writing.


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