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Joan Didion Blue Nights

Joan Didion Blue Nights


From one of America’s greatest and most iconic writers: an honest and courageous portrait of age and motherhood.Several days before Christmas 2003, Joan Didion’s only daughter, Quintana, fell seriously ill. In 2010, Didion marked the sixth anniversary of her daughter’s death. ‘Blue Nights’ is a shatteringly honest examination of Joan Didion’s life as a mother, a woman and a writer.Recently widowed, and becoming increasingly frail, ‘Blue Nights’ is Didion’s attempt to understand our deepest fears, our inadequate adjustments to ageing and to put a name to what we refuse to see and as a consequence fail to face up to, ‘this refusal even to engage in such contemplation, this failure to confront the certainties of ageing, illness and death. This fear.’ This fear is tied to what we cherish most and fight to conserve, protect, and refuse to let go, for, ‘when we are talking about mortality we are talking about our children.’ To face death is to let go of memory, to be bereft once more, ‘I know what it is I am now experiencing. I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is.’The fear is not for what is lost.The fear is for what is still to be lost.You may see nothing still to be lost.Yet there is no day in her life on which I do not see her.A profound, poetic and powerful book about motherhood and the fierce way in which we continue to exalt and nurture our children, even if they only live on in memory.‘Blue Nights’ is an intensely personal, and yet, strangely universal account of how we love. It is both groundbreaking and a culmination of a stunning career.

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Joan Didion Where I Was From


A memoir of land, family and perseverance from one of the most influential writers in America.In this moving and surprising book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history – and America’s. Where I Was From, in Didion's words, «represents an exploration into my own confusions about the place and the way in which I grew up, misapprehensions and misunderstandings so much a part of who I became that I can still to this day confront them only obliquely.»The book is a haunting narrative of how her own family moved west with the frontier from the birth of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother in Virginia in 1766 to the death of her mother on the edge of the Pacific in 2001; of how the wagon-train stories of hardship and abandonment and endurance created a culture in which survival would seem the sole virtue. Didion examines how the folly and recklessness in the very grain of the California settlement led to the California we know today – a state mortgaged first to the railroad, then to the aerospace industry, and overwhelmingly to the federal government.Joan Didion's unerring sense of America and its spirit, her acute interpretation of its institutions and literature, and her incisive questioning of the stories it tells itself make this fiercely intelligent book a provocative and important tour de force from one of America’s greatest writers.

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