Book: Blue Nights - Joan Didion

By admin
30 July 2012

From one of America’s literary lionesses comes a frank and compelling work about losing a daughter, facing up to fear and growing old.

Blue Nights is a companion memoir to the international bestseller The Year of Magical Thinking – in which Joan Didion detailed the year she came to terms with the untimely death in 2003 of her husband, John Gregory Dunne.

It sees her trying to deal with a second devastating personal loss, the death from acute pancreatitis of her and Dunne’s adopted only child, Quintana Roo, in 2005.

A master wordsmith, Didion writes in prose that’s spare and stylish. She attempts to put her daughter’s life into perspective, repeating ideas and phrases until they become numbingly mesmerising.

The troubled, joyful Quintana Roo is conjured up by her mother but only fleetingly – it’s as if Didion can’t bear to evoke her too vividly. Yet she presents clear snapshots of Quintana’s life and reflects not only on her daughter but on her own role as a parent.

Poignant, honest and incisive, Blue Nights is captivating.

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