Reading Joan Didion

Reading Joan Didion


  • Release: 2009
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 159 page
  • ISBN: 9780313364037
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This book is a compelling reference guide for book clubs on the work of Joan Didion, with summaries of her major works and discussion questions. * Discussion questions on Joan Didion's works, literary movements, and literary analysis * An exhaustive bibliography of additional writings about Didion as well as similar authors and books

The Year of Magical Thinking  The Play

The Year of Magical Thinking The Play


  • Release: 2009-04-02
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 80 page
  • ISBN: 9780307498915
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In this dramatic adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir, Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful one-woman play. “This happened on December 30, 2003. That may seem a while ago but it won’t when it happens to you . . .” Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times called the memoir that was the basis for the play, “an indelible portrait of loss and grief . . . a haunting portrait of a four-decade-long marriage." The first theatrical production of The Year of Magical Thinking opened at the Booth Theatre on March 29, 2007, starring Vanessa Redgrave and directed by David Hare.

South and West

South and West


  • Release: 2017
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 126 page
  • ISBN: 9781524732790
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Two excerpts from never-before-seen notebooks offer insights into the author's literary mind and process and includes notes on her Sacramento upbringing, her life in the Gulf states, her views on prominent locals and her experiences during a formative "Rolling Stone" assignment.

After Henry

After Henry


  • Release: 2017-05-09
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 320 page
  • ISBN: 9781504045698
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Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West. In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album “capture[s] the mood of America” and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times). Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the “sideshows” of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two “actors on location;” and “Girl of the Golden West,” a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and insightful parallel between the kidnapped heiress and the emigrants who settled California. “Sentimental Journeys” is a deeply felt study of New York media coverage of the brutal rape of a white investment banker in Central Park, a notorious crime that exposed the city’s racial and class fault lines. Dedicated to Henry Robbins, Didion’s friend and editor from 1966 until his death in 1979, After Henry is an indispensable collection of “superior reporting and criticism” from a writer on whom we have relied for more than fifty years “to get the story straight” (Los Angeles Times).

Blue Nights  Enhanced Edition

Blue Nights Enhanced Edition


  • Release: 2012-01-17
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 210 page
  • ISBN: 9780307961372
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This enhanced eBook edition of Blue Nights includes three short films directed by Griffin Dunne and starring Joan Didion. Each film blends Didion's incisive prose with images and mementos from her daughter's life. From one of our most powerful writers, Blue Nights is a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old. Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept. Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.

The White Album

The White Album


  • Release: 2017-05-09
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 224 page
  • ISBN: 9781504045667
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New York Times Bestseller: An “elegant” mosaic of trenchant observations on the late sixties and seventies from the author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem (The New Yorker). In this landmark essay collection, Joan Didion brilliantly interweaves her own “bad dreams” with those of a nation confronting the dark underside of 1960s counterculture. From a jailhouse visit to Black Panther Party cofounder Huey Newton to witnessing First Lady of California Nancy Reagan pretend to pick flowers for the benefit of news cameras, Didion captures the paranoia and absurdity of the era with her signature blend of irony and insight. She takes readers to the “giddily splendid” Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the cool mountains of Bogotá, and the Jordanian Desert, where Bishop James Pike went to walk in Jesus’s footsteps—and died not far from his rented Ford Cortina. She anatomizes the culture of shopping malls—“toy garden cities in which no one lives but everyone consumes”—and exposes the contradictions and compromises of the women’s movement. In the iconic title essay, she documents her uneasy state of mind during the years leading up to and following the Manson murders—a terrifying crime that, in her memory, surprised no one. Written in “a voice like no other in contemporary journalism,” The White Album is a masterpiece of literary reportage and a fearless work of autobiography by the National Book Award–winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times Book Review). Its power to electrify and inform remains undiminished nearly forty years after it was first published.

Run River

Run River


  • Release: 2011-02-23
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 272 page
  • ISBN: 9780307787750
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Joan Didion's electrifying first novel is a haunting portrait of a marriage whose wrong turns and betrayals are at once absolutely idiosyncratic and a razor-sharp commentary on the history of California. Everett McClellan and his wife, Lily, are the great-grandchildren of pioneers, and what happens to them is a tragic epilogue to the pioneer experience, a story of murder and betrayal that only Didion could tell with such nuance, sympathy, and suspense.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem


  • Release: 2017-03-21
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 361 page
  • ISBN: 9781504045650
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The “dazzling” and essential portrayal of 1960s America from the author of South and West and The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times). Capturing the tumultuous landscape of the United States, and in particular California, during a pivotal era of social change, the first work of nonfiction from one of American literature’s most distinctive prose stylists is a modern classic. In twenty razor-sharp essays that redefined the art of journalism, National Book Award–winning author Joan Didion reports on a society gripped by a deep generational divide, from the “misplaced children” dropping acid in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to Hollywood legend John Wayne filming his first picture after a bout with cancer. She paints indelible portraits of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and folk singer Joan Baez, “a personality before she was entirely a person,” and takes readers on eye-opening journeys to Death Valley, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, “the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements.” First published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been heralded by the New York Times Book Review as “a rare display of some of the best prose written today in this country” and named to Time magazine’s list of the one hundred best and most influential nonfiction books. It is the definitive account of a terrifying and transformative decade in American history whose discordant reverberations continue to sound a half-century later.

Political Fictions

Political Fictions


  • Release: 2002
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 338 page
  • ISBN: 9780375718908
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An incisive compilation of political essays, originally written for The New York Review of Books from 1988 to 2000, explores the nature of American politics and political figures and the role of the media in transforming the American political landscape. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Let Me Tell You What I Mean


  • Release: 2021-01-26
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Price: FREE
  • File: PDF, 192 page
  • ISBN: 9780593318492
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*A New York Times Best Seller* From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt. A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 from Vogue, TIME, Bustle, The New York Times and many more. These twelve pieces from 1968 to 2000, never before gathered together, offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary figure. They showcase Joan Didion's incisive reporting, her empathetic gaze, and her role as "an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time" (The New York Times Book Review). Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers ("the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it"), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In "Why I Write," Didion ponders the act of writing: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one "that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men," these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.