Joan Didion

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live” 

Joan Didion, American writer,  1934-2021

Joan Didion was a celebrated American writer and essayist known for her works detailing the 1960s and ’70s counterculture in California. Her observational yet seemingly personal writings touched readers globally, while maintaining a uniquely American voice.

Didion began her career writing essays and photo captions for Vogue, and would go on to publish essay collections “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and “The White Album,” deemed by many as essential representations of her generation. Her 2005 novel, “The Year of Magical Thinking,” which details the year following her husband’s sudden death, is considered a classic and universal account of loss and grief. In 2013, Didion was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the United States government to artists of any medium.

Didion wrote about immigration and Cuban-American politics in her 1987 book “Miami.” During her time researching and reporting on “Miami,” Didion reached out to Books & Books founder Mitchell Kaplan to show her around the area.


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