50 damned good writers: joan didion
August 24, 2010, 4:35 am
Filed under: 50 damned good writers

joan didion, writer of some note. born: sacramento, california (1934)

she has written over forty years, essays and novels. we have been interested in her time in california. she has two collections of essays from the time she lived there, “the white album”, and “slouching towards jerusalem”. her work during this period is upsetting. she writes about the tenuous hold the nation had on itself on during the end of the vietnam war. her work is unsettling at best, unnerving when she is at her very best. and yes, she is often at her very best in her collection of essays about of the late 1960’s in hollywood in “the white album”. if you want a little fear, and loathing read just the first essay in the book, also called “the white album”.

we read her because she talks about the l.a. riots (we  were there. the united airlines’ pilot said as we landed, “look out of the right side windows to see watts in flames”) and about the manson killings (we where there too, sharon tate and her friends were murdered one night, the next night the labianca’s, whose house was two blocks away from where we were staying with our dear sweet aunt. it could have been us. we went up to watch the policemen swarm the house. last time we walked by, the house had a new street address. convenient, and something ms. didion would  surely note with her usual air of dread.)


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Possibly one of the greatest writers of our time.

Comment by e

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