Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood’s heyday as a countercultural center.
"Didion deserves better."
"Life changes fast....You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends." These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year's Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.
"Great book to Read, but I didn’t like it"
First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era - including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall - through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to define mass culture as we now understand it. Written with a commanding sureness of tone and linguistic precision, The White Album is a central example of American reportage and a classic of American autobiography.
"A great portrait of a fascinating time."
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
"Extremely moving memoir, well-narrated"
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It As It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the listener.
"a bit existential and good"
In her moving and insightful new book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history and ours. A native Californian, Didion applies her scalpel-like intelligence to the state’s ethic of ruthless self-sufficiency in order to examine that ethic’s often tenuous relationship to reality. Combining history and reportage, memoir and literary criticism, Where I Was From explores California’s romances with land and water; its unacknowledged debts to railroads, aerospace, and big government; the disjunction between its code of individualism and its fetish for prisons.
"California belongs to Joan Didion."
Elena McMahon walks off the presidential campaign she has been covering for a major newspaper to do a favor for her father. Elena's father does deals. And it is while acting as his agent in one such deal - a deal that shortly goes spectacularly wrong - that she finds herself on an island where tourism has been superseded by arms dealing, covert action, and assassination. The Last Thing He Wanted is a tour de force - persuasive in its detail, dazzling in its ambiguities, enchanting in its style.
Joan Didion's electrifying first novel is a haunting portrait of a marriage whose wrong turns and betrayals are at once absolutely idiosyncratic and a razor-sharp commentary on the history of California. Everett McClellan and his wife, Lily, are the great-grandchildren of pioneers, and what happens to them is a tragic epilogue to the pioneer experience, a story of murder and betrayal that only Didion could tell with such nuance, sympathy, and suspense.
"Thought-provoking, riveting, memorable"
Inez Victor knows that the major casualty of the political life is memory. But the people around Inez have made careers out of losing track. Her senator husband wants to forget the failure of his last bid for the presidency. Her husband's handler would like the press to forget that Inez's father is a murderer. And, in 1975, the year in which much of this bitterly funny novel is set, America is doing its best to lose track of its one-time client, the lethally hemorrhaging republic of South Vietnam.
The place is El Salvador in 1982, at the ghastly height of its civil war. The writer is Joan Didion, who delivers an anatomy of that country's particular brand of terror - its mechanisms, rationales, and intimate relation to United States foreign policy. As ash travels from battlefields to body dumps, interviews a puppet president, and considers the distinctly Salvadoran grammar of the verb "to disappear," Didion gives us a book that is germane to any country in which bloodshed has become a standard tool of politics.
"Didion writes like an orthopedic surgeon cuts"
Joyce Carol Oates called Joan Didion "an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time." Ms. Didion is the author of the novels Play It as It Lays and The Last Thing He Wanted, the essay collections Slouching Toward Bethlehem and The White Album, and the memoirs Where I Was From and The Year of Magical Thinking.
Writing with the telegraphic swiftness and microscopic sensitivity that have made her one of our most distinguished journalists, Joan Didion creates a shimmering novel of innocence and evil. A Book of Common Prayer is the story of two American women in the derelict Central American nation of Boca Grande. Grace Strasser-Mendana controls much of the country's wealth and knows virtually all of its secrets; Charlotte Douglas knows far too little.
It is where Fidel Castro raised money to overthrow Batista and where two generations of Castro's enemies have raised armies to overthrow him, so far without success. It is where the bitter opera of Cuban exile intersects with the cynicism of U.S. foreign policy. It is a city whose skyrocketing murder rate is fueled by the cocaine trade, racial discontent, and an undeclared war on the island 90 miles to the south.
"Havana vanities come to dust in Miami."
Selected Shorts: Travel Tales presents a collection of classic travel experiences. Selected Shorts is an award-winning series of classic and contemporary short fiction read by acclaimed actors. The Selected Shorts radio series is a co-production of Symphony Space and WNYC, New York Public Radio, and is heard on public radio stations nationwide.
"loved every minute"
Didion discusses her deeply moving new memoir about her daughter, and her own fears and thoughts about growing old, in her first book since the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking. As with that memoir, in her new one Didion confides and confronts her fears, frailties, and sorrows about her life as she looks back and forward. In conversation with her nephew Griffin Dunne (After Hours).
In her latest forays into the American scene, Joan Didion covers ground from Washington to Los Angeles, from a TV producer's gargantuan "manor" to the racial battlefields of New York's criminal courts. At each stop she uncovers the mythic narratives that elude other observers: Didion tells us about the fantasies the media construct around crime victims and presidential candidates; she gives us new interpretations of the stories of Nancy Reagan and Patty Hearst; she charts America's rollercoaster ride through evanescent booms and hard times that won't go away.
"It'll blow a hole in your retina"
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.