|Pages/Publication Date:||728 / 2015|
The biographer of Donald Barthelme (Hiding Man) and Joseph Heller (Just One Catch), Tracy Daugherty here delves deeply into the life of distinguished American author and journalist Joan Didion. From her youth in Sacramento through meeting her husband and writing partner John Gregory Dunne in New York City and producing such notable works of New Journalism as Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and the loss of Dunne that led to Didion's National Book Award winner The Year of Magical Thinking, Daugherty traces the facts of Didion's life and the evolution of her work, in prose that reads like compelling fiction.
"A monumental, novelistic examination of Joan Didion's life and career.... Daugherty crafts a complex, intricately shaded portrait of a woman also known for her inner toughness and intellectual rigor. This landmark work renders a nuanced analysis of a literary life, lauds Didion's indelible contributions to American literature and journalism (especially New Journalism), and documents a 'style [that] has become the music of our time'."—Publishers Weekly (PW Pick review)
"In this engrossing biography of exceptional vibrancy, velocity, and perception, Daugherty astutely elucidates Didion's ever-evolving artistic explorations and political critiques as she interrogates the meaning and 'intelligibility' of literature and life. He also portrays this intensely candid, searching writer as endlessly hardworking, brilliantly innovative, and as sensitive as a tuning fork or divining rod, trembling with the intensity of it all, perfect in pitch, stunning in revelation."—Booklist (starred review)
"An eloquent work on the life of Joan Didion, fashioning her story as no less than the rupture of the American narrative.... Daugherty wisely sticks to Didion's near obsession with making sense of an increasingly incoherent narrative during the tumultuous decades of the waning 20th century ... [and] elicits from Didion's life much more than tidy observations of 'morality and culture'."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)