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James Ellroy on the film version of The Black Dahlia

PUBLISHED: August 27, 2006

In anticipation of Brian De Palma’s film version of The Black Dahlia opening on September 15, we’re pleased to make available an essay by Ellroy originally published in our Summer issue (and now published as the afterword to the movie tie-in edition by Mysterious Press). Ellroy offers his thoughts on the movie and a coda to a subject that Ellroy admits obsessed him for most of his youth.

A personal story attends both novel and film. It inextricably links me to two women savaged eleven years apart. These women comprise the central myth of my life. I want to honor them both. I want this piece to redress imbalances in my previous writings about them. I want to close out their myth with an elegy. I want to grant them the peace of denied disclosure and never say another public word about them.

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(Our thanks to both Mr. Ellroy and his agent, Nat Sobel, for allowing us to publish the essay.)

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