Joan Didion (Hardcover)
The 1960s & 70s (LOA #325): Run River / Slouching Towards Bethlehem / Play It As It Lays / A Book of Common Prayer / The White Album
Library of America, 9781598536454, 980pp.
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
Joan Didion's influence on postwar American letters is undeniable. Whether writing fiction, memoir, or trailblazing journalism, her gifts for narrative and dialogue, and her intimate but detached authorial persona, have won her legions of readers and admirers. Now Library of America launches its multi-volume edition of Didion's collected writings, prepared in consultation with the author, that brings together her fiction and nonfiction for the first time. Collected in this first volume are Didion's five iconic books from the 1960s and 1970s: Run River, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, and The White Album. Whether writing about countercultural San Francisco, the Las Vegas wedding industry, Lucille Miller, Charles Manson, or the shopping mall, Didion achieves a wonderful negative sublimity without condemning her subjects or condescending to her readers. Chiefly about California, these books display Didion's genius for finding exactly the right language and tone to capture America's broken twilight landscape at a moment of headlong conflict and change.
About the Author
David L. Ulin is the author or editor of ten books, including Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay; the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award; and The Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Tom and Mary Gallagher Fellowship from Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship. The former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times, he teaches at the University of Southern California.