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May 2021 Biography & Autobiography

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    9781496724809
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:May 25, 2021 Carton Quantity:24 $36.00 CAD
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Elizabeth and Monty
The Untold Story of Their Intimate Friendship
By (author): Charles Casillo
9781496724793 Hardcover English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts May 25, 2021
$36.00 CAD
Forthcoming 6.23 x 9.24 x 1.24 in | 1.29 lb 352 pages Kensington
Violet-eyed siren Elizabeth Taylor and classically handsome Montgomery Clift were the most gorgeous screen couple of their time. Over two decades of friendship they made, separately and together, some of the era’s defining movies—including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Misfits, Suddenly, Last Summer, and Cleopatra. Yet the relationship between these two figures—one a dazzling, larger-than-life star, the other hugely talented yet fatally troubled—has never truly been explored until now.

“Monty, Elizabeth likes me, but she loves you.”—Richard Burton

When Elizabeth Taylor was cast opposite Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun, he was already a movie idol, with a natural sensitivity that set him apart. At seventeen, Elizabeth was known for her ravishing beauty rather than her talent. Directors treated her like a glamorous prop. But Monty took her seriously, inspiring and encouraging her. In her words, “That’s when I began to act.”

To Monty, she was “Bessie Mae,” a name he coined for her earthy, private side. The press clamored for a wedding, convinced this was more than friendship. The truth was even more complex. Monty was drawn to women but sexually attracted to men—a fact that, if made public, would destroy his career. But he found acceptance and kinship with Elizabeth. Her devotion was never clearer than after his devastating car crash near her Hollywood home when she crawled into the wreckage and saved him from choking.

Monty’s accident shattered his face and left him in constant pain. As he sank into alcoholism and addiction, Elizabeth used her power to keep him working. In turn, through scandals and multiple marriages, he was her constant. Their relationship endured until his death in 1966, right before he was to star with her in Reflections in a Golden Eye. His influence continued in her outspoken support for the gay community, especially during the AIDS crisis.

Far more than the story of two icons, this is a unique and extraordinary love story that shines new light on both stars, revealing their triumphs, demons—and the loyalty that united them to the end.

Story Locale: 1940s -1960s, New York & Hollywood, with a backdrop of the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood

Elizabeth and Monty is the only nonfiction book that focuses on the long relationship between Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. It tells the story of an unusual and intense relationship in a specific time and place: The 1940s -1960s New York - Hollywood, with a backdrop of the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

This book details the uncommon (for the era) but intense relationship between Hollywood’s most married leading lady and most closeted leading man. Encompassing many artistic highs and personal tragedies, it’s a relationship that awakened areas in both their lives and caused them to grow as artists and human beings.

Other nonfiction books that take a close look at compelling Hollywood relationships are Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine (Graymalkin Media; Reprint edition 2017); The Genius and the Goddess by Jeffrey Meyers (University of Illinois Press); Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love by C. David Heymann (Thorndike Press); Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman (Simon & Schuster); and An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy by Christopher Andersen (William Morrow).

On a secondary level, ELIZABETH AND MONTY offers an entertaining history lesson emphasizing the great changes that have taken place in society over the past seventy years. While it would have been career suicide for Montgomery Clift to be open about his sexuality, being gay is now accepted in Hollywood. Artists now don’t have to keep their romantic lives hidden and are free to speak out about their beliefs and causes on social media.

Elizabeth Taylor was a frank woman who lived her life her way, setting the rules as she went along. Her candor and success contrasts the way most actresses were treated in her day. The “me too” movement has changed the rules for women in the business now. Taylor’s career formed in a male dominated industry stands for the importance of independence and free-thinking.

There has been no major book on Montgomery Clift since the biographies Patricia Bosworth and Robert LaGuardia published in the late 70s. Periodically there is substantial interest in Monty’s life when a biographical movie is announced. At first Tom Cruise expressed an interest in paying Monty and more recently Matt Bomer announced that he is interested in playing the role.

Although quite fascinating, the entire story of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift is relatively unknown. Old movie fans may be familiar with the bare bone facts of their relationship, but the intricacies and nuances within the details of their lives will be fully explored. You won’t have to be a movie fan to related to the tale of passion, friendship, success, and tragedy.

Charles Casillo is the author of the biographies Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon and Outlaw: The Lives and Careers of John Rechy, as well as the novels The Fame Game and The Marilyn Diaries, and the short story collection Boys, Lost & Found. His profiles, short stories, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and many others. He has appeared in Monroe documentaries such as Behind the Headlines: Marilyn and Her Men on Lifetime and Scandalous: The Death of Marilyn Monroe. His movies include Let Me Die Quietly and Fetish. He divides his time between New York and Los Angeles. Find him online at CharlesCasillo on Facebook and Twitter or @charles_casillo on Instagram.
 

Author Residence: Howard Beach, NY

Marketing: Print and digital ARCs National publicity campaign

Broadcast radio and television interviews Events in NYC and LA (safety permitting)

Promotional and partnership tie-ins with PRIDE

Turner Classic Movies—Backlot partnership with exclusive content and book giveaways to members

Tie-ins with Academy Awards season and the 10th anniversary of Liz Taylor’s death

Hollywood fan groups—giveaways to Facebook groups interested in cinema history, glamour, and classic films

Podcast advertising on classic cinema lovers’ shows as well as LGBTQ+ shows Publicity outreach for reviews, roundups, and feature coverage

Early reviewer promotions through NetGalley and Goodreads 

Social media campaign including advertising, giveaways, bonus content and shareable images 

Blog tour and ongoing blogger outreach

Praise for Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon
 
“This biography from Casillo fleshes out the icon, telling Monroe’s tale in great and often harrowing detail and showing how the notorious blond pin-up was smarter and shrewder than most realize, yet just as tragic as we knew.”
New York Post, “Most Unforgettable Books of 2018”
 
“A refreshing take on the complex and talented Monroe….A+.”
Tulsa Book Review
 
“Casillo explores the myriad facets of Monroe’s personality with a respectful but incisive eye…an intricately nuanced portrait of this misunderstood idol…A worthy addition to the Monroe canon.”
—Booklist
 
“A well-written examination of the mystique of a woman who still fascinates decades after her untimely death.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“A deep dive into the model and screen legend’s glamorous but troubled life…[Casillo] pays particularly sympathetic attention to her emotional journey…a compelling exploration of a beguiling film icon’s life.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Extraordinary…. Castillo’s sympathetic and psychologically nuanced Marilyn Monroe bio is compulsively readable and well researched.”
Shelf Awareness
 
“After all I’ve seen and heard about Marilyn Monroe, this book is a revelation, an earthy, empathic vision of a real woman who happened to be an ethereal goddess. Getting to know Charles Casillo’s Marilyn made me feel a level of identification and understanding that was devastating and thrilling.”
―Mary Gaitskill

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