one grand books

Jemima Kirke’s 10 Favorite Books

Photo: Vulture

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. Below is artist and actress Jemima Kirke’s list.

André De Dienes: Marilyn by André De Dienes
Some of the most important pictures taken of Marilyn Monroe throughout her career with a memoir to go along with it. She and De Dienes were lovers and longtime friends. She would often visit him and take pictures purely for the catharsis of it.

Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger
A great beach read. Or better yet, a great book to have read to you while performing some inane and tedious task. It’s delicious Hollywood gossip starting from the first days of cinema through the ’70s. And you better believe every word of it.

A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk 
No mother should leave these pages unturned. A sensitive and existential analysis of the heartache of being a mother. Cusk speaks to our dark side — the dark side that almost always bleeds over into the light.

My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather 
Specific, sharp, and strange. It’s a good little novella on the relationship between two women, a mentor and mentee. Aptly titled.

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
My boyfriend gave me a copy of this before we started dating, which was a little heavy-handed, but I guess that’s why it worked. It’s an erotic exploration, if you can call it that. No, it’s more of a cautionary tale. You come away from it sickened. The depth of our sexuality is a place best left uncharted. Read alone.

The Theatre of Tennessee Williams: 27 Wagons Full of Cotton and Other Short Plays by Tennessee Williams
These are some of Tennessee Williams’s short plays, ones that were rarely performed or produced. I particularly like The Rain as it’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. Also 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. It was the precursor to Baby Doll, although even Kazan’s film softened some of its edges.

Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny 
This was the first book that explained radical feminism to me. She untangles the smallest, most insidious ways that we all contribute to preserving the patriarchy. She also carefully aligns all women: sex workers to stay-at-home mothers. Also, after reading this I will no longer participate in conversation about feminism that leaves out class and race.

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A love story that takes place in the world of the young, jaded, elite crowd of 1920s NYC. Never has a book made me want to jump inside it just to go shopping like this one. It’s the most stylish book you’ll ever read.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë  
I’ve been looking for Heathcliff ever since. My copy is all warped and sticky from all the tears I’ve shed over it.

Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola 
If it hasn’t been established yet, then this one says it loud and clear: I’m inclined to morbidity. Set in the stinking streets of early-19th-century Paris, it’s a grim thriller/love story about self-sabotage.

Jemima Kirke’s 10 Favorite Books