Iew cliches come to mind spare taut elegant polished not a word out of place All true And yet I admire these pieces but I don t love them There s a coldness at the core of Didion s writing that terrifies me She regards everything within her line of vision herself included with unflinching unforgiving clarity and delivers her verdict Nothing ever really measures up Reading these pieces exhausts meI recommend this collection but only in small doses I am almost done with this tome of non fiction from one of my favorite writers Before this book I had only read The Year of Magical Thinking which I loved but Didion had always held a certain fascination for me because I had the hugest crush on Ed O Brien of Radiohead for the longest time and he said Joan Didion was his favorite writer and his dream woman So of course I set about finding out who this #LADY WAS AND WHETHER SHE WAS WORTHY OF THIS #was and whether she was worthy of this The crush has long since faded though I still think *He S Dreamy But *s dreamy but crush on Didion continues unabated This collection is a particular gift to lazy types like myself I now I would have found it such a pain to acuire all of her non fiction separately and in chronological order so I m very glad Everyman did it for me My favorite essays so far include On Self Respect Goodbye to all That In the Islands and Pacific Distances but really it s like picking a favorite child Some essays do nothing for me but I still love the way they re written So yeah Read Didion Joan Joan Joan God the woman can write Some of her essays get a little tiresome as she tries to shock but you have to remember she was writing them back in the 70s We look for the sermon in the suicide for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five We interpret what we see select the most workable of the multiple choices We live entirely by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images by the ideas with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience Joan DidionHaving just finished Political Fictions I have now illed this 1122 pg collection of Joan Didion s nonfiction Slouching Towards Bethlehem through Where I Was From This Everyman s Library collection contains seven of her works of nonfiction Rather than review this collection as a whole I ll just say it is brilliant and point my fair readers toward my seven sub collection reviews1 Slouching Towards Bethlehem2 The White Album3 Salvador4 Miami5 After Henry6 Political Fictions7 Where I was FromAlso since it is a collection of Didion nonfiction that spans 1968 to 2003 it obviously doesn t includeA Fixed Ideas America Since 911 2003 or B The Year of Magical Thinking 2005 or C Blue Nights 2011 As of this writing I ve read The Year of Magical Thinking this was my first Didion ever. Y of Pigs through Watergate In After Henry Didion reports on the Reagans Patty Hearst and the Central Park jogger case The eight essays in Political Fictions–on censorship in the media Gingrich Clinton Starr and “compassionate conservatism” among others–show us how we got to the political scene of today And in Where I Was From Didion shows that California was never the land of the golden drea.
Joan Didion ☆ 5 Free read
Geography an incomplete list New York California Mexico Hawaii El Salvador #Miami Washington and the range of subjects crime politics hydrology civil war personal history social history and you might expect #Washington and the range of crime politics hydrology civil war personal history social history and you might expect it be a difficult read But you d be wrong Didion
IS ENGAGING START TO FINISH AS GOOD A WRITERengaging start to finish as good a writer 75 as she was at 35 or vice versa I m not sure if there s any subject she could make dull if one exists it s been omitted here And at the end of it you feel like she has held up a mirror to our times fractured weird often unhappy but ultimately worth having lived Incredible The nonfiction piece Dreamers of the Golden Dream I have read over and over through the years An incredible depiction of California desert life and the true crime murder of a dentist I cannot do it justice here because I am writing uickly but this POSITIVELY is a MUST READ if not just for the first nonfiction piece in this voluminous collection Joan Didion earns respect as one of the important writers of our time I hadn t read a lot of her work fiction than nonfiction as it turned out and so I dived into We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live because we read artistry in order to read well This huge book contains all of Didion s nonfiction up to 2003 Her last 3 books appeared after this publication I had read only Slouching Towards Bethlehem before and am still besotted with it think it the most impressive of the works reprinted here Though she always writes well she wrote best at her beginning And that 1st book most resembles what I admire particularly a collection of essays Maybe it s a truth that she writes best about California The book s last work is 2003 s Where I Was From which is a family memoir heavily reflective on the inherent ualities of California In between are books on Central America the Reagans an extended portrait of Miami and reportage on the national politics of the 1990s These middle works didn t always rivet my attention El Salvador and Miami are probably much changed since her portraits the politics of the Clinton years seem like inconseuential history when read against today s ominous headlines What s always up to date with Didion is the fine uality of her writing She writes with such acute observation and analysis that she ll blow the buttons right off your shirt I m impressed enough to feel her last 3 books The Year of Magical Thinking Blue Nights and South and West are readings I don t want to miss This big fat collection clocks in at over 1100 pages and comprises the seven books of Didion s nonfiction that appeared between 1968 and 2003 These areSlouching Towards BethlehemThe White AlbumSalvadorMiamiAfter HenryPolitical FictionsWhere I Was FromWhat can I add to what s already been said about Joan Didion s writing The standard rev. Lized by California Joan Baez Haight Ashbury The White Album covers the revolutionary politics and the “contemporary wasteland” of the late sixties and early seventies in pieces on the Manson family the Black Panthers and Hollywood Salvador is a riveting look at the social and political landscape of civil war Miami exposes the secret role this largely Latin city played in the Cold War from the Ba. By way of commentary I can do no better THAN TO DIRECT EVERYONE TO THIS PIECE FROM THE to direct everyone to this piece from The Yorker Out of Bethlehem The Radicalization of Joan Didion by Louis Menand Ostensibly a review of Tracy Daugherty s The Last Love Song St Martin s a biography of Joan Didion this article is really an overview of Didion s career and the evolution of her world view only thing I would like to add is this uote from John Leonard in his introduction to this collection I have been trying forever to figure out why her sentences are better than mine and yours something about cadence They come at you if not from ambush then in gnomic haikus icepick laser beams or waves Even
THE SPACE ON THE PAGE AROUNDspace on the page around sentences is interesting than it ought to be as if to suare a sandbox for a Sphinx Yes This is what makes her prose so compelling Even in the early pieces that make me distinctly uncomfortable like her sensationalized portrayal of the counterculture or the Black Panthers or her especially wrong headed dismissal of radical feminism I find it hard to shake off that prose and certainly will not forget it Of course this makes it all the delicious when she turned her focus to the emptiness behind the traditional picture of the American Dream especially California Style to the dissection of US foreign policy in Central America and to dismantling the Political Class in America and their media sycophants It is the uality of her prose style that places her among the greats of the New Journalism along side Hunter S Thompson it also makes me want to find the time to read some of her fiction This now twelve year old volume from the Everyman s Library is a ind of summa of Joan Didion s nonfiction writing gathering eight of her prior collections including Slouching Toward Bethlehem The White Album and After Henry and covering such topics as Ronald Reagan s then new mansion the aueous suspension of personality obtainable in covered shopping malls and the exploits of politicians as disparate as Jesse Jackson and Newt Gingrich At over eleven hundred pages hardbound it s a real chest crusher as one of my GR friends calls it but it s indispensable and comes at a good price If you are interested in 20th Century writing particul My soulmate is a 74 year old woman Joan Didion is the Shakespeare of things that don t uite add up Situations where what s being said and what s being done are at odds and places #where the postcard picture hides ugly painful truths Her non fiction is the opposite of easy reading #the postcard picture hides ugly painful truths Her non fiction is the opposite of easy reading sentences uncurl slowly and sometimes you don t uite now where she s taking a paragraph or a page until the last few words when suddenly everything stabs into focus And given the length of this book 1122 pages the time span it covers forty plus years the enormous. Book Jacket Status JacketedJoan Didion’s incomparable and distinctive essays and journalism are admired for their acute incisive observations and their spare elegant style Now the seven books of nonfiction that appeared between 1968 and 2003 have been brought together into one thrilling collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem captures the counterculture of the sixties its mood and lifestyle as symbo. .