Conversations with Joan Didion
by Edited by Scott F. Parker
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
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Joan Didion (b. 1934) is an American icon. Her essays, particularly those in Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album, have resonated in American culture to a degree unmatched over the past half century. Two generations of writers have taken her as the measure of what it means to write personal essays. No one writes about California, the sixties, media narratives, cultural mythology, or migraines without taking Didion into account. She has also written five novels; several screenplays with her husband, John Gregory Dunne; and three late-in-life memoirs, including The Year of Magical Thinkingand Blue Nights, which have brought her a new wave of renown.
Conversations with Joan Didion features seventeen interviews with the author, spanning decades, continents, and genres. Didion reflects on her childhood in Sacramento; her time at Berkeley (both as a student and later as a visiting professor), in New York, and in Hollywood; her marriage to Dunne; and of course her writing. Didion describes her methods of writing, the ways in which the various genres she has worked in inform one another, and the concerns that have motivated her to write.