Joan Didion

Books & Literatureloa.org

Joan Didion: The Art of Storytelling

LOA Live: A conversation with David L. Ulin, Laila Lalami, and Steph Cha. Special appearances by Griffin Dunne and Mia Barron. May 19, 2021 — An iconic voice in contemporary American writing, Joan Didion through her novels and literary nonfiction reimagined the way stories are told. In the process, this “articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time,” in Joyce Carol Oates’ words, has become an inescapable influence on writers who have followed her.
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Books & Literatureloa.org

When Joan Didion met Jean Stafford

For the second time in less than two years, Library of America has issued a volume collecting several works by Joan Didion alongside a volume of the writings of Jean Stafford. This wasn’t intentional: both Stafford collections had in fact been postponed from earlier years and it just happened that the first volumes by both authors (Didion’s 1960s & 70s and Stafford’s Complete Novels) appeared in November 2019, while the second volumes (1980s & 90s and Complete Stories & Other Writings) went on sale this month. But perhaps the more interesting coincidence here is that Joan Didion’s first byline in a national publication was for an interview she did with . . . Jean Stafford.
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Sex Crimesloa.org

Joan Didion, “L.A. Noir”

Later this month Library of America will be publishing the second volume of its Joan Didion edition, collecting the novels and essays she published during the 1980s and 1990s. One of the better-known essays in the volume is an early dissenting voice on the media coverage of the Central Park Five, in which five teenagers were wrongly convicted of rape. She wrote that “crimes are universally understood to be news to the extent that they offer, however erroneously, a story, a lesson, a high concept.” The “story” here, Didion wrote, was to be found in the “conflation of victim and city, this confusion of personal woe with public distress.” All too often, prosecutors and reporters alike spin crimes into morality tales that end up perpetuating their own news; what gets lost are the facts.
Books & LiteratureThe Quietus

Deceptively Simple Sentences: Joan Didion On Writing

John Quin admires Joan Didion’s late collection Let Me Tell You What I Mean. Here’s Joan Didion on roving reporter mode at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in Gardenia, the draw-poker capital of Los Angeles County. A penitent says their ideal, the aim of the programme, is “getting serenity”. Didion balks at that: she associates serenity with death. Joan doesn’t do serenity: she’s been proven right in her anxieties for decades.
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New York City, NYthe Arkatech

NYC Barbizon Hotel women where Grace Kelly Rita Hayworth Sylvia Plath Liza Minelli Joan Didion lived and Checking In! Grace Kelly, Little Edie, Liza Minnelli, and the Untold History of the Barbizon Hotel for Women

Checking In! Grace Kelly, Little Edie, Liza Minnelli, and the Untold History of the Barbizon Hotel for Women and NYC Barbizon Hotel women where Grace Kelly Rita Hayworth Sylvia Plath Liza Minelli Joan Didion lived. Last News:. Filmed on Zoom and phones, SC's Spanglish theater troupe tackles pandemic with dark...
Books & LiteratureThe Guardian

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion review – elegant essays spanning four decades

In the first essay of this new volume of previously uncollected pieces, Joan Didion makes a case against newspapers. Too often, she argues, their reporting style rests on “a quite factitious ‘ objectivity’”, which “lends the entire venture a mendacity” by failing to make explicit the writer’s own particular set of influences and biases. Didion praises instead magazines that cultivate a personal voice, and which aim to impart character and atmosphere rather than straightforward information: “They assume that the reader is a friend, that he is disturbed about something, and that he will understand if they talk to him straight; this assumption of a shared language and a common ethic lends their reports a considerable cogency of style.” Often, she concludes, the real story is “the story not in the newspaper”.
California Statetheintelligencer.com

California’s next Joan Didion can sing

California’s next Joan Didion might be an improvement on the original. For one thing, she can sing. Phoebe Bridgers, a brilliant and versatile 26-year-old musician and songwriter, isn’t just contending for four Grammy awards this March. She is challenging the status of Joan Didion, now 86, as the most nationally respected and quotable of California interpreters.
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California StateBakersfield Californian

Mathews: Calif.'s next Joan Didion can sing

California’s next Joan Didion might be an improvement on the original. For one thing, she can sing. Phoebe Bridgers, a brilliant 26-year-old musician, isn’t just contending for four Grammy awards March 14. She is challenging the status of Didion, 86, as the most respected and quotable of California interpreters. This...
Books & Literatureinews.co.uk

Let Me Tell You What I Mean, by Joan Didion, review: compelling essays on writing, self-doubt and the press

Didion explores an array of subjects, from Martha Stewart to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting and the US press. February 25, 2021 12:16 pm(Updated 6:50 pm) Joan Didion is a prolific wordsmith with an unfailing ability to capture a moment, feeling, or event with wit and wisdom. The 86-year-old has written five novels, 10 non-fiction books, a play and countless essays.
Books & LiteratureThe Guardian

Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion review – a masterclass in minimalism

Except for Joan Didion, the New Journalists of the 1960s were a self-dramatising gang, determined to upstage the stories they reported. Norman Mailer brawled, Hunter S Thompson raged; less loudly macho, Tom Wolfe preened and Truman Capote whispered sedition. When Didion calls writing “an aggressive, even a hostile act” or “the tactic of a secret bully”, she might be defining this bumptious fraternity.
Books & Literaturethefallonpost.org

Book Review -- Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

This is a collection of 12 essays, most of which appeared in magazines in the 1960s and ‘70s. She minces no words and goes straight to the heart of her subjects which include Nancy Reagan, then 1st lady of California, and the business practices and philosophy of Martha Stewart. She also discusses why she writes and her process. These pieces are of interest, insightful, and are relevant today. Joan Didion is an author I’ve been drawn to and been reading for years. A treat.
POTUSThe Guardian

California cool and Magical Thinking: Joan Didion at 86

To think about Joan Didion, you have to confront two things before you get to the words: the pictures and the anecdotes. If you’re interested in certain aspects of the culture – American counterculture in the 1960s, California, female writers – the pictures are familiar, if not ingrained. There’s Didion in her long dress with long hair, smoking, leaning against her Corvette Stingray; standing up in its sunroof; lolling out of the driver’s window, in Julian Wasser’s 1968 shoot; inside, pictured with her daughter Quintana on her lap (her favourite of that day), or staring straight at the camera. Wasser remembers her as “a very easy person to talk to. No Hollywood affectations” – but the photographs themselves had such star quality that the fashion house Céline not only recreated one in its 2015 ad campaign, but also featured the then 80-year-old writer herself, in black sweater and enormous sunglasses.
Books & LiteratureVogue

From The Archive: Joan Didion On Writing The ‘The White Album’ And Her Years On The Features Desk At Vogue

Joan Didion says that when she enters a room, she immediately becomes the least visible person in it. A size too small for her clothes at 5ft 2in, with a trailing, unemphatic voice, she is the opposite of up-front and nothing so obvious as laid-back – down-back? This is the author of three very interesting novels and some of the best journalism written in California over the last 20 years. “My only advantage as a reporter,” she says in the preface to Slouching Towards Bethlehem, “is that I am so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does.” On the receiving end of questions, which she usually answers in the negative, she fastidiously avoids the sweeping statement, the showy affect: photographed, she retreats behind sunglasses or a chair, at bay.
CelebritiesDecider

‘Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold’

Fans of Joan Didion will know that few public figures are more guarded than the nonfiction author behind The Year of Magical Thinking. In Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, her impenetrable celebrity is bolstered by casual commentary from Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, panoramic views of New York City and Californian suburbia, and insight like the fact that Didion “retroactively made Harrison Ford famous” for doing construction on her house before he was Indiana Jones. Directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne, this intimate portrait of the life and losses behind one of the foremost writers of our time is well-worth streaming.
Books & LiteratureThe Christian Science Monitor

Joan Didion commands the essay form in ‘Let Me Tell You What I Mean’

Joan Didion began her career more than six decades ago writing captions for Vogue. “It is easy to make light of this kind of ‘writing,’” she notes before going on to do exactly the opposite – expounding the ways in which the Vogue job helped her develop the direct, controlled style for which she is justly renowned. “I learned a kind of ease with words,” she recalls, “a way of regarding words not as mirrors of my own inadequacy but as tools, toys, weapons to be deployed strategically on a page.”