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Joan Didion

Even though the tape recorder is humming smoothly at Joan Didion's elbow, she can't help noticing how ominous it is. "Is that still going?" she says sweetly. "I always worry about my own, that sense of dread when you look down and the little thing isn't moving anymore and you realize you don't know how long it has not been moving." There it is--the notorious Didion dread. She has always felt at home in the foyer of the apocalypse.
December 12, 1995
"Some of us who live in arid parts of the world think about water with a reverence which others might find excessive." --JOAN DIDION "The White Album"
December 27, 2006 | From the Associated Press
When writer John Gregory Dunne died, his wife, Joan Didion, channeled her grief into a compelling and bestselling memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking." Now a stage version, written by Didion and starring Vanessa Redgrave, is coming to Broadway, opening March 29 at the Booth Theatre. Preview performances begin March 6 for a six-month engagement. "Magical Thinking" will be directed by David Hare, whose latest play, "The Vertical Hour," is on view at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.
December 7, 2005 | From Associated Press
Writer Joan Didion is adapting her recent bestselling memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking," into a play. The memoir dealt with the death of her writer husband and the ultimately fatal illness of her daughter. The one-woman play will be produced by Scott Rudin, who approached her with the idea, and directed by British playwright David Hare.
September 11, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Joan Didion, the author and essayist whose 2005 memoir was titled "The Year of Magical Thinking," will receive an honorary National Book Award medal this fall for "distinguished contribution to American letters." Terry Gross, who has interviewed Didion and countless other authors as host of National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" program, won the Literarian Award for "outstanding service to the American literary community."
October 9, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
We don't often think of it that way, but New York is a city for the young. There's something about its myth, its promise, and also about its hardness; it lures us and then it breaks our will. This is the point of Joan Didion's 1967 essay “Goodbye to All That” (published in her landmark collection “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”); “All I mean is that I was very young in New York,” she writes, “and that at some point the golden rhythm was broken, and I am not that young anymore.” Didion's line serves as the epigraph for “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York” (Seal Press: 270 pp., $16 paper)
January 3, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Finally, a commemoration I can get behind: On Feb. 5, at Town Hall in Manhattan, t he New York Review of Books will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an event featuring, among other contributors, Joan Didion , Michael Chabon and Daniel Mendelsohn . The magazine was founded in February 1963, during a printers' strike that shuttered New York's newspapers, although its roots go back to the late 1950s and the dismay of its founding editors,...
July 23, 2012 | David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Thanks to the miracle of DVR, my wife Rae and I spent the other night watching “Double Indemnity,” a film we hadn't seen in years. Directed by Billy Wilder, with a script by Wilder and Raymond Chandler and based on a novel by James M. Cain, it is a movie with an almost perfect noir pedigree. More than this, though, it is a classic story, one that speaks to both its moment (the book was written in the 1930s) and to ours. As Joan Didion writes in her essay “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream” : “This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis has slipped imperceptibly into a belief in the literal interpretation of 'Double Indemnity.'" That's a great line, vintage Didion, and it highlights what she does so often in her writing: to stretch the particular until it seems universal, as well.
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