Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

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From one of America's iconic writers, a portrait of a marriage and a life — in good times and bad — that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. A stunning book of electric honesty and passion.
Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later — the night before New Year’s Eve –the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of 40 years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LA airport, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Centre to relieve a massive hematoma.
This powerful book is Didion’s ‘attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness … about marriage and children and memory … about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself’. The result is an exploration of an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad.
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196 printed pages
Publication year
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


    sksrostovshared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths

    Profound and touching.

    Elleshared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading

    Beautifully captures the poignancy of death and intimate relationships

    Anya Bapakashared an impression4 years ago
    💞Loved Up

    It's incredible how Joan can make intimate and touchy even the reading of medical reports.


    Fer Silvahas quoted5 years ago
    Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.
    Lliahas quoted7 years ago
    Life changes fast.
    Life changes in the instant.
    You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
    The question of self-pity.
    You see how early the question of self-pity entered the picture.
    dannynicolinihas quoted2 years ago
    Life changes fast.
    Life changes in the instant.
    You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
    The question of self-pity

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