You don’t need me to write about Joan Didion. Scribbling this in a little posting seems totally unnecessary to the point of insult. I’m not sure I am fit even to breathe her name.
Having meant to for ages, I read first The Year of Magical Thinking (slayed me), then Blue Nights (beyond repair). As you probably know, both of these are memoirs. The first, which has become a classic, is about the sudden death of her husband – he literally dropped dead mid-conversation one evening while they were cooking dinner. The second, almost unbearably, is the new follow-up – about the death of her daughter Quintana shortly afterwards. They are both stunning.
I just finished one of her novels, Play It As It Lays – a brilliant evocation of an LA actress’s breakdown.
I am eagerly awaiting delivery of Slouching Towards Bethlehem, the definitive collection of the essays for which she is arguably best known.
She is everything I want to be, basically. There is no point in me trying to sell this to you. Just read everything of hers that you can get your hands on.