Jackie under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon

Jackie under My Skin: Interpreting an Icon

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by Koestenbaum, Wayne Koestanbaum
     
 

Jackie Under My Skin is a passionate investigation of the ways Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis transformed America's definition of celebrity, identity, and style. In a gallery of fantasies and tableaux, Wayne Koestenbaum explains the late first lady’s hold on Americans by examining the myths and metaphors that we've attached to her. An exuberant paean to a

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Overview

Jackie Under My Skin is a passionate investigation of the ways Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis transformed America's definition of celebrity, identity, and style. In a gallery of fantasies and tableaux, Wayne Koestenbaum explains the late first lady’s hold on Americans by examining the myths and metaphors that we've attached to her. An exuberant paean to a great star, Jackie Under My Skin is also a meditation on fame, mortality, and the difficulty of defining desire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The same kind of serious play that distinguished Koestenbaum's earlier book, The Queen's Throat, a highly regarded study of opera and homosexuality, shapes the Yale English professor's scrutiny of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis-and, more exactly, of the highly charged gap between the private woman and the public icon she became. In brief chapters, her signature sunglasses and scarf, her coiffure (``battle gear of a woman of means''), even the ``O'' of her name occasion manic, inventive and sometimes wildly funny ruminations. In ``Silent Jackie,'' Maria Callas is quoted as saying that Onassis ``spoke like Marilyn Monroe playing Ophelia''; in ``Jackie as Housewife,'' Onassis is at once the devoted helpmate of powerful men and the star whose allure obscured them; ``Exotic Jackie,'' always conscious of her public role, was ``in exile from herself, a bemused visitor to her own body.'' Though some will undoubtedly find the book hopelessly irreverent, those fascinated by the cult of celebrity will find Koestenbaum's analysis of an enduring American icon a compelling contribution in cultural studies. First serial to the New York Times Magazine; Readers Subscription Book Club selection. (May)
Library Journal
A different look at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis from the author of The Queen's Throat (LJ 1/93).
Booknews
Koestenbaum (English, Yale) scrutinizes the late Jackie Kennedy Onassis and examines the gap between the private woman and the public icon. He considers the myths and metaphors attached to her and meditates on the significance of her silence, her hairdos, and her roles as housewife, traveler, and media star, revealing the collective yearnings that Jackie's image embodies. Includes b&w photos. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374284466
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/01/1995
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
291
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.17(d)

Meet the Author

WAYNE KOESTENBAUM has published five books of poetry, one novel, and six books of nonfiction. A graduate of Harvard and Princeton, he is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center and a Visiting Professor in the painting department of the Yale School of Art.

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