American novelist Joan Didion, known for her touching stories, memorabilia, books, and expressions of grief over the death of her husband and daughter, has died at the age of 87.
The cause of death was Parkinson’s disease, its publisher Knopf said Thursday.
Didion first appeared as a writer in the late 1960s as the first master of “new journalism”, which allowed writers to cover the story, as they see it.
In his 1968 novel, Slouching Toward Bethlehem, the borrowed title of poet William Butler Yeats, explored the culture of his native California.
The headline made headlines against the upcoming hippie culture in San Francisco and a New York Times commentary called the book “one of the best magazine articles published by anyone in the country in recent years.”
“We tell ourselves stories to survive.”
RIP Joan Didion pic.twitter.com/mctWEnKqFX
– Video at Lincoln Center (@FilmLinc) December 23, 2021
Didion had a relaxed and well-written personality and at the time of his popularity he was often photographed wearing large glasses or crying uncontrollably with a hand-held cigarette. She was 80 years old in 2015 when French fashion house Celine used her as an example in her glasses advertising campaign.
Tragedy led her to return to work in the 2000s as Didion wrote about the deaths of her husband, author John Gregory Dunne, in the Year of Magical Thinking, and Quintana daughter Roo Dunne in, in Blue Nights.
Didion’s works were brilliant, convincing and concerned with ennui and skepticism. The Los Angeles Times hailed him as an “unprecedented artist” with a “strong sense of humor and good language”.
British author Martin Amis described Didion as “California’s Great Poetry Poem” and was a prolific historian. His 1970 book, Play As It Sets, portrayed Los Angeles, through the eyes of the harassed actor, as beautiful and worthless while the 2003 Out of My Records, was of state culture, as well as himself and his family history there.
“I write everything to know what I think, what I look for, what I see and what it means,” Didion said in a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975.
From California to New York
Her life and work were featured in the 2017 album, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Work, and her nephew, actress Griffin Dunne. The New Yorker magazine called the film, which borrowed its title from another Yeats project, “a romantic, kind and minimalist image”.
Didion graduated in New York and won a college essay competition that offered him the opportunity to study at Vogue magazine in the late 1950’s. He met Dunne there two years later.
Didion and Dunne, who have been married for nearly 40 years, shared their lives between Southern California and New York and managed to become leaders in both the literary and Hollywood groups. Parties at their Malibu beach house, where Harrison Ford worked as a carpenter before becoming a star in Star Wars, attracted former musicians Janis Joplin, filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese and actor Warren Beatty, who is said to have been influenced by Didion. .
Dunne was showy and shy while Didion was able to come out as a celebrity. Their marriage was in trouble at times and Dunne moved to Las Vegas for a while. In his article, The White Album, Didion wrote that he once went on vacation to Hawaii “instead of writing a divorce”.
Through it all he exchanged works with each other and collaborated on re-enactment in 1976, A Star Is Born, The Panic in Needle Park – a 1971 film that gave Al Pacino his first star role, as well as a version of Play It. as It sets, and Dunne’s book, True Confessions.
The couple moved to New York in 1988 and after Dunne suffered a heart attack at a dinner party in 2003, Didion wrote of the trauma of The Year of Magical Thinking, which won the World Book Award.
He wrote: “Sorrow became a place not known to us until our coming.
A YEAR OF SPIRITUAL THOUGHT was the first book I could remember reading with the intention of grieving. It was strange to me then; It sounded like Joan Didion (who was also a stranger to me at the time) explaining that my life was on the edge of a world I had never known.
– Saeed Jones (@theferocity) December 23, 2021
Twenty months after Dunne’s death, Didion returned to mourning as Quintana Roo died of pneumonia after a series of health problems, which he recorded in Blue Nights.
Little Didion dropped to 75 pounds (34kg) after death but began to emerge from working in the one-woman section of Magical Thinking which was unveiled on Broadway in 2007 by Vanessa Redgrave led by David Hare.
Didion, whose other books also included the book, A Book of Common Prayer, and False Writings, Miami, and Salvador, was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2013 by President Barack Obama.