So far, we've witnessed what Madonna can do to a water bottle, eavesdropped on her telephone call to Daddy, and seen her stark naked in Penthouse. Now, two book publishers are vying to unveil the real Material Girl.
Citadel Press/Carol Publishing Group, aiming for a mid-October release, is desperately seeking to be out with a paperback original called Madonna Revealed before Simon & Schuster can bring out Madonna Unauthorized in hardcover, and Citadel promises surprises. ''All that Truth or Dare stuff is just part of her marketing strategy to make people think she's an open and candid celebrity,'' says a spokesman. ''But she does have secrets.''
Simon & Schuster has signed up veteran journalist Christopher Andersen, the former People editor who wrote 1990's juicy Citizen Jane about Henry Fonda's daughter, for its $20 book, which will feature a front jacket totally bare of type because the still-secret cover photo will say it all. Although Madonna did not deign to speak, Andersen has interviewed friends, family, and ex-lovers. A spokeswoman for S&S says only that the book will ''reveal some very contradictory things in her character and life.''
For its dueling-Madonnas entry, Citadel is relying on British journalist Douglas Thompson. The $12.95 book's cover will sport a photo showing what is described by a company spokesman as ''a vulnerable Madonna, very innocent, like a Sandra Dee or a Tammy.'' The book's editor, Gail Kinn, says Thompson has uncovered vulnerability by talking to people like Madonna's first boyfriend, now a minister. ''It's very poignant,'' Kinn says. In addition to those two, there's already a picture book out, Madonna Superstar. And both William Morrow and G.P. Putnam & Sons are working on volumes. But, Kinn snipes, ''That's probably two years away. Who knows what color her hair will be by then.''