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December 5, 1934

Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs

‘Slouching Toward Bethlehem” (1968) Joan Didion

Joan Didion American writer was born.

Joan Didion was an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. Her writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the ’60s and the Hollywood lifestyle. (Wikipedia).

Joan Didion was a novelist, journalist, and memoirist from California who for over 50 years wrote some of the sharpest and most evocative analyses of American culture, politics, and mise en scène.  Her novels captured a victorious postwar people struggling with anxieties, doubts, and the chloroform of abundance.  Although the literary influences on her seem clear (Joseph Conrad, Hemingway, noir, perhaps some Beat), she is justly famous for her own cool, distanced, and all-seeing style.  Her writing imbues us with awe.  If you want to understand America, you must read Didion. (Whistlestop Bookshop)

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“To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. – Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power “

Joan Didion Essay originally published in Vogue in 1961)

Links to buy Biography of Joan Didion:

In The Last Love Song, Tracy Daugherty, the critically acclaimed author of Hiding Man (a New Yorkerand New York Times Notable book) and Just One Catch, and subject of the hit documentary The Center Will Not Hold on NetFlix delves deep into the life of distinguished American author and journalist Joan Didion in this, the first printed biography published about her life.

Joan Didion lived a life in the public and private eye with her late husband, writer John Gregory Dunne. The two were wildly successful writing partners when they moved to Los Angeles and co-wrote screenplays and adaptations together. Didion is well-known for her literary journalistic style in both fiction and non-fiction. Some of her most-notable work includes Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Run River, and The Year of Magical Thinking, a National Book Award winner and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, it dealt with the grief surrounding Didion after the loss of her husband and daughter. Daughtery takes readers on a journey back through time, following a young Didion in Sacramento through to her adult life as a writer interviewing those who know and knew her personally, while maintaining a respectful distance from the reclusive literary great. Lifelong fans and readers learning about Didion for the first time will be enthralled with this impressive tribute.

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, Oregon Book Award – Winner

Buy on “Let Me Tell You What I Mean” by Joan Didion on Amazon

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