Joan Didion

20 Apr

We had our book club meeting last night. My book was the “chosen one.” It was also the “hated one” by a couple fools (you  boys know who you are…wink). Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking” is about Joan Didion’s year of grieving and coming to terms with the death of her husband (writer John Gregory Dunne), best friend, soul mate, lover, peer of the past 40 years. They were inseparable. The man would fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco just to grab dinner with her and then fly back. In that same year, her only daughter, who was just married,  is in the ICU for most of it and on the verge of death. I really know how to pick the uplifting stories, don’t I?  This book is not just a book about grief and loss but it’s a love story. And while some may claim that this book was written by a self-indulgent woman full of self-pity, they clearly got lost somewhere along the way in reading it. Every person will have to face death and loss one day, and I think this book will provide solace. It’s a book about survival and love and human nature. I think Didion is one of the greatest writers there ever was. This book went on to win the National Book Award and she went on to win the National Book Lifetime Achievement Award. Joan Didion was born December 5,1934 in Sacramento and currently lives in a New York City.

“The last time I covered a convention at Madison Square Garden had been 1992, the Democratic convention.

John would wait until I came uptown at eleven or so to have dinner with me. We would walk to Coco Pazzo on those hot July nights and split an order of pasta and a salad at one of the little unreserved tables in the bar. I do not think we ever discussed the convention during these dinners. On the Sunday afternoon before it began I had talked him into going to a Louis Farrakhan event that never materialized, and between the improvisational nature of the scheduling and the walk back downtown from 125th street, his tolerance for the 1992 Democratic convention was pretty much exhausted.

Still.

He waited every night to eat with me.” -Joan Didion, “The Year of Magical Thinking”

“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.” -Joan Didion

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