Sunday, January 23, 2022

Writer Joan Didion has died at age 87

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Joan Didion died at house in New York this morning at 87 from issues of Parkinson’s Disease, mentioned Knopf, her writer.

Her accolades included a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and being a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, amongst many others. She additionally wrote one of many first mainstream media articles – in 1991, within the NY Review of Books – that steered the Exonerated Five (identified then because the Central Park Five) have been wrongfully convicted. (You can learn it in her essay assortment After Henry).

Didion’s writing spanned genres, from fiction (Play It As It Lays) to memoir (The Year of Magical Thinking) to journalism and cultural criticism (Let Me Tell You What I Mean). She additionally collaborated together with her husband, John Dunne, on screenplays like Up Close & Personal.

Born December 5, 1934 in Sacramento, California, she began writing issues down early, however by no means noticed herself as a author till she was first printed. She attended UC Berkeley, the place she received an essay contest sponsored by Vogue her senior yr and have become a analysis assistant at the journal. She labored her method as much as finally develop into an affiliate characteristic editor.

Her first novel, Run, River, was printed in 1963, borne out of her homesickness for California whereas dwelling in New York. Her first nonfiction e-book, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, was printed in 1968, and included her experiences dwelling in California, in addition to varied items she printed in magazines. She went on to publish a number of different novels, nonfiction collections, and memoirs, together with The White Album, A Book of Common Prayer, and South and West.

She wrote unflinchingly about politics and sexual predators, different writers, and spared nothing and nobody – not even herself. Her cool eye was unforgiving, and her wry writing fashion was distinctive and sharp.

Didion’s writing was usually held up as an examples of  “New Journalism,” by which the author’s voice is central to the writing, just like artistic nonfiction. This may be seen in her e-book Slouching Towards Bethlehem, which mixes her private experiences with bigger cultural observations.

She married John Dunne in 1964, and so they adopted their daughter Quintana Roo in 1966. Both preceded her in loss of life, which Didion chronicled in The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights.

Netflix launched a documentary about her referred to as Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, in 2017, the place she opens up about her private life and writing.

If you’ve by no means learn Joan Didion and want to discover her work, our Reading Pathway about her nonfiction is a good place to start out. You also can discover a extra complete look at her books right here.

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