California and Joan Didion
If the South is the center, then the center is not holding. In New Orleans, the air is dark, the mood lugubrious.
Old people sit in front of their houses and stare, a woman falls forward over the wheel of her car and dies, elaborate aboveground crypts lie as if in wait. Air-conditioners whir in the silence. A copious amount of bourbon is consumed. Didion gets caught in a downpour and runs into a trinket shop, where she buys a beach towel to dry herself.
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The towel is printed with the Confederate flag. In Meridian, a white businessman who owns a black radio station is more optimistic. The K.
In Alabama, for instance, she finds a great deal of pride and a deep resistance to change nearly everywhere she goes. Remember, never take no cutoffs, and hurry on along as fast as you can— good advice for a westward traveler in What happened after that, of course, is history.
Didion grew up in Sacramento. Her family were members of the landed gentry, a benefit of having got there early. But her father, a drinker and a gambler, was hospitalized for depression when she was still in college.
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Her mother, Eduene, was not cut from the standard cloth either. It simply confirmed her worldview.
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In a way, perhaps, it was as if she had spent her entire life in expectation of, and preparation for, just such events. Remember, never take no cutoffs, and hurry on along as fast as you can.watch
‘Where I Was From’ by Joan Didion
For more than fifty years now, in both her fiction and her nonfiction, Joan Didion has been covering the American scene. As a senior at Cal Berkeley in the early fifties she won a writing competition that earned her an internship at Vogue magazine in New York City, which she soon parlayed into writing assignments at William F. After that she never looked back. The arrival in of Blue Nights , a memoir of her life with her daughter, brings to fifteen the number of books written by her thus far Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
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