The One about Joan Didion

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Quite often I get into these conversations with a few writers about prose.

And over the years, I have been asked if I have read Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”, ad infinitum.

A few years ago, Didion was promoting her play “The Year of Magical Thinking” and decided, that I would finally take the time to read “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”.

For those who are not familiar with Joan Didion, she is an American author best known for her novels and literary journalism.

According to “Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 32” by Jean C. Stine and Daniel G. Marowski, “Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work”.

A friend told me that I would need to read her next book of essays “The White Album” and then to read this book and that book.

Fortunately, one thing about books released in the UK is that they can be released in an omnibus edition. And sure enough, Didion’s “Slouching towards Bethlehem”, “White Album” and “After Henry” are included in the UK release “Live and Learn”.

It’s definitely cheaper than buying all three books individually.

So, for the friends who keep asking if I have finished reading “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”, the answer is still “no”.  But I’m slowly getting there!

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Dennis A. Amith