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A new novel imagines Jackie O and Marilyn as pals

”Private and Confidential” presupposes a friendship between the First Lady and the alleged other woman

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Marilyn and Jackie illustration: Chris Pyle

Veteran celebrity biographer Wendy Leigh (”Arnold: An Unauthorized Biography”; ”Prince Charming: The John F. Kennedy, Jr. Story”) is turning to the more delicate art of celebrity fiction. The British journalist is at work on the tentatively titled ”Private and Confidential: The Correspondence Between Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy,” a novel that imagines the two women as longtime pen pals. ”Jackie was very interested in Hollywood and celebrities, and Marilyn had more interests than just the movies, so it’s actually fairly believable — though completely fabricated — that they’d be chatting,” says Thomas Dunne, publisher of his eponymous imprint at St. Martin’s, which will release the novel late this year.