mercredi 5 septembre 2012

In awe

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.

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