Excerpt from The Year of Magical Thinking | Penguin Random House CanadaThe geological imagery conveys the disparity of scale between any mortal intelligence and those immense, lethal gulfs and mountains. It is a terrain often lied about, and routinely blurred by euphemism. Didion's book is thrilling and engaging -- sometimes quite funny -- because it ventures to tell the truth: a traveler's faithful account of those harsh but fascinating cliffs. Hopkins's verbal music, his gorgeously stammered consonant-harmonies and syncopated cadences, expresses one of Didion's true reports: grief makes us crazy. In December , the only daughter of Didion and her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, fell into septic shock from a runaway pneumonia infection. Her doctors at New York's Beth Israel North put the young woman -- she was married only five months earlier -- into an induced coma. On the evening of Dec.
An Introduction to Joan Didion
Published by Knopf in October , The Year of Magical Thinking was immediately acclaimed as a classic book about mourning. The book recounts Didion's experiences of grief after Dunne's death. Days before his death, their daughter Quintana Roo Dunne Michael was hospitalized in New York with pneumonia which developed into septic shock ; she was still unconscious when her father died. During Quintana was again hospitalized after she fell and hit her head disembarking from a plane in Malibu. She had returned to Malibu, her childhood home, after learning of her father's death. She did not believe the fall had caused damage but as many brain injuries happen, the bleeding in her brain resulted in a coma and eventual death. The narrative structure of the book follows Didion's re-living and re-analysis of her husband's death throughout the year following it, in addition to caring for Quintana.
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On Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
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