The Uptown Local

Joy, Death, and Joan Didion: A Memoir

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Pub Date Jun 11 2024 | Archive Date Aug 06 2024

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Description

A brilliant debut memoir about a young writer—struggling with depression, family issues, and addiction—and his life-changing decade working for Joan Didion

As an aspiring novelist in his early twenties, Cory Leadbeater was presented with an opportunity to work for a well-known writer whose identity was kept confidential. Since the tumultuous days of childhood, Cory had sought refuge from the rougher parts of life in the pages of books. Suddenly, he found himself the personal assistant to a titan of literature: Joan Didion.

In the nine years that followed, Cory shared Joan’s rarefied world, transformed not only by her blazing intellect but by her generous friendship and mentorship. Together they recited poetry in the mornings, dined with Supreme Court justices, attended art openings, smoked a single cigarette before bed.

But secretly, Cory was spiraling. He reeled from the death of a close friend. He spent his weekends at a federal prison, visiting his father as he served time for fraud. He struggled day after day to write the novel that would validate him as a real writer. And meanwhile, the forces of addiction and depression loomed large.

In hypnotic prose that pulses with life and longing, The Uptown Local explores the fault lines of class, family, loss, and creativity. It is a love letter to a cultural icon—and a moving testament to the relationships that sustain us in the eternal pursuit of a life worth living. 

A brilliant debut memoir about a young writer—struggling with depression, family issues, and addiction—and his life-changing decade working for Joan Didion

As an aspiring novelist in his early...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780063371576
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 224

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