Monday, August 26, 2019

45. Non-quotidian Didion

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion grapples with the catastrophic loss of her husband by heart attack PLUS the (eventually fatal) illness of her daughter by trying to understand, well, everything. The magical thinking is the hanging on to the impossible belief that John Gregory Dunne is not really dead. Every word in the book (which I listened to as an audio book, read by Barbara Caruso) is choice. The tone is clipped. The research is deep. The analysis of every detail of every day could be seen as quotidian, but it's not. Instead, Didion's day-by-day accounts of her horrible year—daily bread, in a way—is anything but ordinary.

(For August 24, 2019; posted August 26, 2019)

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