July 9, 2015

#bookselfie: 'dark sparkler'

This new Book Selfie is coming a little late, because yours truly was up way past her bedtime reading another book. I ordered Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn after reading a couple of articles about this new book of poetry from an actress I admire. Here's the premise:
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.
I was intrigued by the subject matter when I first read that article. Now that I've read it, I'm even more intrigue.

Many of the poems are raw and devastating. (I audibly gasped on a few occasions, because what I read or saw so stirred me.) And like Tamblyn's experience creating this work, I found myself obsessively reading more on the actresses featured (previously known to me and unknown alike). My copy of the book is covered with Post-it notes of my research and my reactions.

And while the subject (and admittedly the author herself) drew me to the work, what perhaps most reached me and evoked greet thought and feeling was the honest and sometimes dark, seemingly more personal. Without giving it away, I found myself better able to relate to it from my own personal experiences, which in turn better helped me identify with the other pieces in the book. (Basically: actresses--they're just like us, right?) Women live, they sometimes die too young and tragically. But they love, they have hopes and dreams that sometimes come to fruition or sometimes fail.

So yeah... Super rambling review, but that basically reflects the way my mind is still processing what I've read.

I highly recommend this poignant and thought-provoking work.

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