Synopses & Reviews
The lives of more than twenty-five actresses lost before their time — from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy — explored in a 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 Tomine, 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.
“With a drummer's approach to wording and a coroner's attention to bodily detail, Amber Tamblyn's tragicomic dead girl poems are a thoughtful, ghoulish kick.” Sarah Vowell
“Ms. Tamblyn has a gift for words.” Quentin Tarantino
“Amber Tamblyn's Dark Sparkler is an elegy, a eulogy, a rhapsody, a rage. In these astonishing poems inspired by dead actresses, Tamblyn fiercely examines the spectacle of the actress as she lives and dies and how our hands and hearts linger on their lives.” Roxane Gay, author of New York Times bestseller Bad Feminist
“With frank observations and blunt commentary, Tamblyn has created a smartly crafted collection, proving that she is a savvy and fierce woman and poet who knows that behind every spotlight is shadow.” Booklist
“Reviewers may compare Tamblyn to James Franco, who also wrote poems about his own celebrity, but the two cases aren't really alike: Tamblyn's work seems less slick, and it's more playful and far more personal, with highs and lows that stick around after the cameras are off.” Publishers Weekly
Here is the American starlet: discovered, disrobed, displaced, disused, disgorged.
In more than thirty haunting, visceral poetic portraits, acclaimed poet and actress Amber Tamblyn contemplates the interior lives of women who glimmered on-screen and crashed in life — figures as diverse as Frances Farmer and Brittany Murphy, Jayne Mansfield and Dana Plato, Jean Harlow and Sharon Tate, Heather O'Rourke and Dominique Dunne and Marilyn Monroe. Their stories invite us behind the eyes of a century's worth of women, the adored and the disappeared.
About the Author
Amber Tamblyn is a contributing writer for the Poetry Foundation and the author of two previous works of poetry, Free Stallion and Bang Ditto. As an actress, she has been nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and an Independent Spirit award. Her writing has appeared in Bust, Interview, Cosmopolitan, the San Francisco Chronicle, Poets & Writers, Pank, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and Brooklyn, New York.