Biagi Rights
Published by
Pegasus (2017-06-06)
Original language


The Life

by Riva, Maria

The 25th anniversary edition of the wildly entertaining and intimate biography of the glamorous and mysterious Marlene Dietrich, written by her daughter.

Wildly entertaining, Maria Riva reveals the rich life of her mother in vivid detail. Opening with Dietrich's childhood in Berlin, we meet an energetic, disciplined, and ambitious young actress whose own mother equated the stage with a world of vagabonds and thieves.

Dietrich would quickly rise to stardom on the Berlin stage in the 1920's with her sharp wit and bisexual sexuality?while wearing the top hat and tails that revolutionized our concept of beauty and femininity. Dietrich comes alive in these pages in all of her incarnations: as muse, artistic collaborator, bonafide movie star, box-office poison, lover, wife, and mother.

She would stand up to the Nazis and galvanize American troops, eventually earning the Congressional Medal of Freedom. There were her artistic relationships with Josef von Sternberg (The Blue Angle, Morocco, Shanghai Express), Colette, Erich Maria Remarque, Noël Coward and Cole Porter, and her heady romances. In her final years, she would make herself visibly invisible, devoting herself to the immortality of her legend.

Marlene Dietrich: The Life is captures this complex and astonishing woman. Maria Riva's biography of her mother has the depth, range, and resonance of a novel and captures the conviction and passion of its remarkable subject. B&W photographs throughout.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Annelie Geissler

Available View on Rightsdesk


Link to the Smithsonian Marlene Dietrich exhibition

Quote: NPG

Gossipy, elabroately detailed, and greatly entertaining. Riva leaves no sequin unturned.

Review: The New York Times

Riva's perspective is unique and affecting. Using her mother's diary, radiograms, and letters, she gives proper weight to Dietrich's youth, her experience on the Berlin stage, her collaboration with director Josef Von Sternberg, and her latter-day triumphs on stage and as a chanteuse. There are arresting tales here that give the reader a true grasp of both biographer and subject.

Review: Library Journal

A really nice interview and photo slideshow on NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s “The Cut” today with Maria Riva and MARLENE DIETRICH!

Quote: NYT Magazine's "The Cut"

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