A special event from the Freud Museum London, held at the Anna Freud Centre on 1 November 2011. 4.25 am, 5 August 1962, West Los Angeles Police Department ‘Marilyn Monroe has died of an overdose’, a man’s voice says dully. And when the stunned policeman asked ‘What?’, the same voice struggled to repeat ‘Marilyn Monroe has died. She has committed suicide.’
In the three years running up to this phone call, psychoanalyst Dr Ralph Greenson became the most important person in Marilyn Monroe’s life. They met almost every day. He was her analyst, her friend and her confessor. He was the last person to see her alive, and the first to see her dead.
In this highly acclaimed novel, based on the transcripts of their meetings, Marilyn’s last years are brilliantly recreated. It is the story of the world’s most famous and elusive actress, told partially in her own words. The book raises questions about the increasingly blurred lines between fact and fiction, as well as giving powerful insight into the workings of Hollywood and its close links with psychoanalysis. Michel Schneider has written on psychoanalysis, Baudelaire, Proust, Schumann and Glenn Gould. His essay collection, Morts Imaginaires (Grasset, 2003), won the Médicis Essay Award. He lives in France. Lisa Appignanesi is a writer, broadcaster and chair of trustees of the Freud Museum London. Her most recent book All about Love, is an intimate and illuminating look at how love shapes our lives and our world.