Joan Didion is one of America's most respected writers, her work constituting some of the greatest portraits of modern-day American culture. Over the four decades of her career, she has produced widely-acclaimed journalistic essays, personal essays, novels, non-fiction, memoir and screenplays. Her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award in 2005.
‘Her prose is a thing of beauty’ Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times ‘Where
the book is most successful – and most poignant – is in the
viciously honest picture Didion draws of a lonely, encroaching old
age … your heart breaks for her increasing and incurable frailty’
Julie Myerson, Observer Reviews for ‘A Year of Magical
‘It is the most awesome performance of both participating in, and watching, an event. Even though Didion does not allow herself to break down, only a terribly controlled reader will resist doing the same.’ John Freeman, Independent ‘Ultimately, and unexpectedly for a book about illness and death, this is a wonderfully life affirming book.’ Lisa O’Kelly, Observer ‘Searing, informative and affecting. Don’t leave life without it.’ Financial Times ‘This is a beautiful and devastating book by one of the finest writers we have. Didion has always been a precise, humane and meticulously truthful writer, but on the subject of death she becomes essential.’ Zadie Smith
Kimberly Farr turns in a solid performance in this audio edition of Didion's haunting memoir of her daughter Quintana Roo's illness and death. The book is a sequel of sorts to Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking-about the unexpected death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne-and this previous work haunts Blue Nights and helps to guide Farr's narration. A younger woman than the author, Farr's reading often lacks the mournful quality of the text: her narration is simply perkier than Didion's prose. And while Farr does justice to the author's story-using the elongation of precisely chosen words to indicate untapped reservoirs of emotion-there are times when the reading takes on a tone more appropriate to a less rigorous story of uplift through death. A Knopf hardcover. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Just 20 months after her husband died of a sudden heart attack, best-selling essayist Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking) had to face the death of her only daughter, Quintana Roo, after a long illness. This poignant and touching memoir explores her feelings about loss, motherhood, and her own aging as well as Quintana's life. VERDICT While more rambling and repetitive than her earlier work, Blue Nights reveals flashes of Didion's brilliant style as she conveys the terrible pain of losing a child. Kimberly Farr reads with a warmth and clarity that avoids sentimentality. This book will appeal to Didion's fans and to those coping with the loss of a loved one. ["This worthwhile mediation on parenting and aging by a succinct writer...is well worth the emotional toll," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Knopf hc, LJ 9/15/11; see Major Audio Releases, LJ 9/15/11.-Ed.]-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.