From “Marilyn & Her Monsters” by Sam Kashner, in the November 2010 issue of Vanity Fair:
“Several photographs taken of Marilyn earlier in her life—the ones she especially liked—show her reading. Eve Arnold photographed her for Esquire magazine in a playground in Amagansett reading James Joyce’s Ulysses [above]. Alfred Eisenstaedt photographed her, for Life, at home, dressed in white slacks and a black top, curled up on her sofa, reading in front of a shelf of books [which forms the cover for Fragments]—her personal library, which would grow to 400 volumes. In another photograph, she’s on a pulled-out sofa bed reading the poetry of Heinrich Heine.
“If some photographers thought it was funny to pose the world’s most famously voluptuous ‘dumb blonde’ with a book—James Joyce! Heinrich Heine!—it wasn’t a joke to her. In these newly discovered diary entries and poems [which make up the bulk of Fragments], Marilyn reveals a young woman for whom writing and poetry were lifelines, the ways and means to discover who she was and to sort through her often tumultuous emotional life. And books were a refuge and a companion for Marilyn during her bouts of insomnia.”
Related: All Eyes on Marilyn.