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The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion
140004314X
October 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Many will greet this taut, clear-eyed memoir of grief as a long-awaited return to the terrain of Didion's venerated, increasingly rare personal essays. The author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and 11 other works chronicles the year following the death of her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne, from a massive heart attack on December 30, 2003, while the couple's only daughter, Quintana, lay unconscious in a nearby hospital suffering from pneumonia and septic shock. Dunne and Didion had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years, and Dunne's death propelled Didion into a state she calls "magical thinking." "We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss," she writes. "We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and...


The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion
159887005X
October 2005
Compact Disc
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From Publishers Weekly
After her husband's fatal heart attack, which came at a time when their daughter Quintana was in intensive care for complications after pneumonia, Didion was labeled "a pretty cool customer" by a social worker because she seemed to be handling these shocks so calmly. Caruso's reading certainly reflects this aspect of Didion's reaction—sometimes her clear, elegant voice seems downright cold, making the listener wish for a little more emotion. The slightly eerie sounds of bells and cello that swell in at occasional breaks in the narration help in this respect, but mostly the audiobook is as straightforward a production as Didion wanted her life to be in that horrible year. Throughout those months, Didion immersed herself in the literature of grief and quotes frequently from poets and writers who helped her...


The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Mailer, Didion and the New Journalism Revolution
Marc Weingarten
1400049148
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Today, it's routine for writers to go undercover to get a story; precedent for such experiential reportage really took off in the 1960s. It took outside-the-box reporters like Hunter S. Thompson to ride with the Hell's Angels, or Tom Wolfe to drop acid with Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, or John Sack and Michael Herr to go to Vietnam with the grunts to tell it like it really was. This "New Journalism," described as "journalism that reads like fiction and rings with the truth of reported fact," started a revolution in the publishing world, reviving old magazines (Esquire) and inventing new ones (Rolling Stone; New York). Freelance journalist Weingarten tells this story in loosely chronological fashion, pausing to highlight key writers (Thompson, Wolfe, Mailer, Didion, Breslin) and editors (particularly Clay Felker)...


Salvador
Joan Didion
0679751831
May 1994
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Didion's 1983 volume captured "the terror and unpredictability permeating the El Salvadorean scene," said LJ's reviewer (LJ 3/1/83). Though political events in El Salvador are no longer in the public eye, this serves as a chronicle of a dark chapter in that country's tumultuous history.Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
In 1982, Didion traveled to El Salvador at the height of the ghastly civil war. From battlefields to body dumps, she trained a merciless eye not only on the terror but also on the depredations and evasions of our own country's foreign policy.

See all Editorial Reviews


We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live
Joan Didion
0307264874
Sept 2006
Hardcover
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Where I Was From
Joan Didion
0679752862
September 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
California comes under Didion's captivating, merciless microscope in her controversial look at the greed, acquisitiveness and wasteful extravagance lurking beneath the state's eternal sunshine. In admirably lean, piercing prose, she describes her ancestors, women who could shoot, handle stock and shake snakes from their boots every morning. These pioneers had lived through an arduous crossing far removed from the noble odysseys chronicled by California mythmakers and arrived in wrecked wagons, facing desolation and death. Didion dramatically highlights the gap between California's rosy notion of itself as a land that stood for individual entrepreneurship, and the reality of growing government control and reliance on federal money. As a Sacramento native now living in New York, she conveys the tension of loving an...


The Critical Response to Joan Didion
Sharon Felton
0313285349
Dec 1993
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
Joan Didion is a major contemporary American novelist and journalist whose works have popular appeal and are widely studied from a variety of literary perspectives as well as for philosophical, psychological, and political insights into the times and topics with which they deal. This volume collects an extensive range of critical commentary, both reviews and scholarly examinations, including newly commissioned essays, covering the entire canon: four works of fiction and five of nonfiction published between 1963 and 1992. Individually, the selections explore diverse critical approaches to Didion's canon; collectively, they establish a critical map that will serve as a guide to future scholarship. A substantive introduction assesses the canon and the critical reaction to it. Other features include a brief chronology of...


Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Joan Didion
0374521727
October 1990
Paperback
·
 
Review
"In her portraits of people, Didion is not out to expose but to understand, and she shows us actors and millionaires, doomed brides and naive acid-trippers, left wing ideologues and snobs of the Hawaiian aristocracy in a way that makes them neither villainous nor glamorous, but alive and botched and often mournfully beautiful . . . A rich display of some of the best prose written today in this country."--Dan Wakefield, The New York Times Book Review


White Album
Joan Didion
0374522219
October 1990
Paperback
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Review
"All of the essays manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism."--Robert Towers, The New York Times Book Review

"Didion manges to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota) . . . A timely and elegant collection."--The New Yorker

"Didion is an original journalistic talent who can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our...


Play It As It Lays
Joan Didion
0374529949
November 2005
Paperback
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Review
"There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion's quality since Nathanel West . . . A terrifying book."--John Leonard, The New York Times

"Simple, restrained, intelligent, well-structured, witty, irresistibly relentless, forthright in diction, and untainted by the sensational, Play It As It Lays is a book of outstanding literary quality."--Library Journal

"[A] scathing novel, distilling venom in tiny drops, revealing devastation in a sneer and fear in a handful of atomic dust."--J. R. Frakes, Book World


Political Fictions
Joan Didion
0375718907
Aug 2002
Paperback
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Book Review's Best of 2001
This collection of eight essays covering U.S. politics between 1988 and 2000 is a critical look at what author Joan Didion calls "the ways in which the political process did not reflect but increasingly proceeded from a series of fables about American experience." The New York Review of Books originally published these writings, and they hit all the major events of the previous dozen years: the election of George Bush (the first), the emergence of Bill Clinton, the Republican takeover of Congress, Clinton's impeachment, and the 2000 race between George Bush (the second) and Al Gore. During this period, Didion worked and reworked a theme of political disconnect. In examining who cast ballots in 2000 (for the first time, more than half of all voters had incomes about $50,000), she notes acidly in her foreword:...


Where I Was From
Joan Didion
0679433325
Sept 2003
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
California comes under Didion's captivating, merciless microscope in her controversial look at the greed, acquisitiveness and wasteful extravagance lurking beneath the state's eternal sunshine. In admirably lean, piercing prose, she describes her ancestors, women who could shoot, handle stock and shake snakes from their boots every morning. These pioneers had lived through an arduous crossing far removed from the noble odysseys chronicled by California mythmakers and arrived in wrecked wagons, facing desolation and death. Didion dramatically highlights the gap between California's rosy notion of itself as a land that stood for individual entrepreneurship, and the reality of growing government control and reliance on federal money. As a Sacramento native now living in New York, she conveys the tension of loving an...


The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
American Heritage Editors
0395825172
January 2000
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
The latest edition of the American Heritage Dictionary is out, and that's hot news--not just for the resolute followers of lexicographical minutiae, but for the general reading and writing public as well. Why? Because the American Heritage is a long-standing favorite family dictionary (never underestimate the value of pictures) and one of the prime dictionary references for magazines, newspapers, and dot.com content providers. For scads of writers and editors across the U.S., it sets the standard on matters of style and lexicographical authority.

So this new edition is exciting and noteworthy, but how good is it? In its favor, the fourth edition is as current a dictionary as you can get. It's six years fresher than the 1994 version, with 10,000 words and definitions you won't find in the still venerable but now slightly...



After Henry
Joan Didion
0679745394
Apr 1993
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
One of America's premier essayists discusses Patty Hearst, the Central Park ogger, the 1988 Hollywood writers' strike, Reagan and Bush. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Eleven essays, mostly from the New York Review of Books and the New Yorker , are collected here in honor of Henry Robbins, an early, influential editor of Didion who died recently. The pieces zigzag through politics and the current events of the last decade, ranging from California to New York and taking aim at the power hungry, at sentimentality, at the manipulation of language. We see George Bush using a trip to Jordan as a "photo-op" to make him look like a man of action and reporters willing to do what politicans want in return for special privileges. The...


Vintage Didion (Vintage Readers Series)
Joan Didion
1400033934
January 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions.

“Didion has the instincts of an exceptional reporter and the focus of a historian . . . a novelist’s appreciation of the surreal.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Whether she’s writing about civil war in Central America, political scurrility in Washington, or the tightl -braided myths and realities of her native California, Joan Didion expresses an unblinking vision of the truth.

Vintage Didion includes three chapters from Miami; an excerpt from Salvador; and three separate essays from After Henry that cover topics from Ronald Reagan to the Central Park jogger case. Also...

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