ARTS Pick: The Drama of Celebrity

Sharon Marcus reads from her new book, The Drama of Celebrity, at New Dominion Bookshop on Saturday. Publicity photo Sharon Marcus reads from her new book, The Drama of Celebrity, at New Dominion Bookshop on Saturday. Publicity photo

Cult of personalities: Almost 25 million people have visited Graceland since Elvis’ death in 1977; Beyoncé has 134 million followers on Instagram; and over 46 million adults read People magazine every week. Why do we care so much about famous people? In her new book, Sharon Marcus looks at The Drama of Celebrity, starting with eccentric Victorian superstar Sarah Bernhardt, who slept in a coffin in her youth, and was “as famous in her day as the Beatles in theirs.” UVA professor and Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton speaks with Marcus about her exploration of fame and the way it’s carefully crafted by journalists, the public, and celebrities themselves.

Saturday, October 12. Free, 7pm. New Dominion Bookshop, 404 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. 295-2552.

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