Thursday, April 23, 2015

Just Jennifer

Dark Sparkler by Amber Tamblyn (Harper Perennial)

Many young actors never make the bridge to adult actors, whether due to lack of industry interest once the “cute factor” is gone or through personal missteps or tragedy (drugs, pregnancy, jail or death); not so with Amber Tamblyn.  Not only was she able to continue a successful movie and television career, but she has mined her experiences and those of legendary actors to use as material for her other passion: poetry.  In this, her third collection of poetry, Tamblyn pays homage to the women whose careers, and in many cases their lives met tragic ends.  Some names will be familiar:  Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, Heather O’Rourke and my favorite childhood star, Anissa Jones (Buffy from Family Affair).  Poems about less familiar names will arouse readers curiosity and have then turning to Google to learn more about their careers and realize they do know who the actress is after all, if Tamblyn’s verse doesn’t provide enough clues.  Illustrations and images add to the poems except in a couple of cases where they obscure the words a bit.  Neither maudlin nor overwrought, these poems celebrate the lives of these women rather than their tragedies, but face reality and their fates nonetheless.  An unusual but startling tribute written by an actress whose time may have come but is by no means near the end. 

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