Notable Books of the Twenties: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Anita Loos (1924)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos (1924)

This is a timeless classic that nevertheless defined it’s time. Loos, then a Hollywood screenwriter, was inspired to write it during a trans-America train trip with the movie star Douglas Fairbanks and his leading lady. Watching the screen sire, she concluded her ‘strength had to be rooted (like that of Samson) in her hair: she was a natural blonde and I was a brunette.’

The result of these musings became a jazz-age classic that has endured all the decades since (not to mention a 1953 movie adaptation starring Marilyn Munroe). Her gold-digging protagonist is a witty, seductively ironic and superhumanly smart carve up of a society obsessed with looks.

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