* Lead title A memoir of land, family and perseverance from one of the most influential writers in America. * A memoir from one of the greatest living American writers * Didion is a writer's writer, admired and adored by a horde of famous magazine, film and book writers who continue to publicise her work * Didion is 'the First Lady of journalism' (The Observer) * A New York Times Notable Book of 2003
Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York. She is the author of five novels and six previous books of nonfiction: among them the great portraits of a decade in essays, Sentimental Journeys, The White Album, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
'Her tough, beautiful, surgically precise prose is like nothing else I've ever read.' Donna Tartt 'She is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism.' New York Times 'Everything Didion writes has a land's end edginess to it- a hyperattentiveeye on the dramas of the human condition. She writes as someone who has come through great shudders of the earth with a fundamental understanding that everything is subject to instantaneous and complete revision.' Village Voice 'She is the best chronicler California has.' Vogue 'Valediction and elegy alike, WHERE I WAS FROM is a storm-tossed book... Some writers see Californians as brilliant dreamers; others see failures, seeking a second start. Didion steps over both arguments and portrays the settlers of the state as shrewd entrepreneurs who would stop at nothing to turn dirt into dollars.' Thomas Curwen, LA Times She is one of our true stylists. Her sentences have the wicked precision of a Wodehouse or a Waugh, though she uses them for a different purpose: a cold keening for the times we live in.' Richard Eder 'A slant of vision that is arresting and unique... Didion might be an observer from another planet -- one so edgy and alert that she ends up knowing more about our own world than we know ourselves.' Anne Tyler 'Joan Didion has always held a solitary status as a modern American essayist, her prose defining erudition and cool elegance... Her style always belonged more to noir than hip: It suggested a singular integrity, a private struggle with ominous depths. She showed a generation of young American journalists how to make reporting moodily stylish, a personal expression.' New York Observer 'Didion's whole career has been a disenchantment, from which her pages fall like brilliant autumn leaves and arrange themselves as sermons in the stones.' New York Times Book Review 'There's no accident that she writes movies and lives with film, because her work, like Hemingway's is montage... She has the same sense of the power of the sentence and the power of the next sentence.' Norman Mailer