| Share
 

Joan Didion

Didion, Joan (dĭdˈēŏn) [key], 1934–, American writer, b. Sacramento, Calif., grad. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1956. Her works often explore the despair of contemporary American life, a condition she views as produced by the disintegration of morality and values. She is known for a cool and almost brittle style that emphasizes the concrete. Her novels include Run River (1963), A Book of Common Prayer (1977), Salvador (1983), Democracy (1984), and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Didion also has written screenplays (with her late husband John Gregory Dunne) as well as journalistic and critical pieces for such periodicals as the New Yorker and New York Review of Books. Among her books of essays the two most important are Slouching toward Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979), both groundbreaking analyses of contemporary life and culture that combine the personal with the topical. Later essay collections include After Henry (1992) and Political Fictions (2001). Other works include Where I Was From (2003), part memoir, part disenchanted revisionist portrait of California, and the memoirs The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), an account of the grief-filled year that followed her husband's sudden death, and Blue Nights (2011), the anguished story of her grown daughter's death.

See studies by K. U. Henderson (1981), E. G. Friedman, ed. (1984), M. R. Winchell (rev. ed. 1989), and S. Felton, ed. (1994).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Joan Didion from Infoplease:

  • Joan Didion - Biography of Joan Didion, The author of Slouching Toward Bethlehem
  • Joan Didion - Joan Didion journalist, novelist Born: 12/5/1934 Birthplace: Sacramento, California Journalist and ...
  • Notable Books of 2005 Quiz: 1 - Notable Books of 2005 Quiz Read more 2005 Year in Review features Question 1: What is the subject ...
  • 2005 National Book Awards - 2005 National Book Awards The 56th Annual National Book Awards were presented November 16, 2005, in ...
  • Play it as it Lays - Starring Tuesday Weld, Anthony Perkins, Tammy Grimes, Adam Roarke, Ruth Ford

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring