Blue Nights

Blue Nights

Hardback

By (author) Joan Didion

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 188 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 201mm x 25mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307267679
  • ISBN 13: 9780307267672
  • Sales rank: 109,184

Product description

From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old. "Blue Nights" opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana's wedding in New York seven years before. "Today would be her wedding anniversary." This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana's childhood--in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. "How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?" Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept. "Blue Nights"--the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, "the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning"--like "The Year of Magical Thinking" before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.

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Author information

Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California, and now lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and eight previous books of nonfiction. Her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, was published by Everyman's Library in 2006.

Review quote

"A haunting memoir . . . Didion is, to my mind, the best living essayist in America . . . What appears on the surface to be an elegantly, intelligently, deeply felt, precisely written story of the loss of a beloved child is actually an elegantly, intelligently, deeply felt, precisely written glimpse into the abyss, a book that forces us to understand, to admit, that there can be no preparation for tragedy, no protection from it, and so, finally, no consolation . . . The book has . . . an incantatory quality: it is a beautiful, soaring, polyphonic eulogy, a beseeching prayer the is sung even as one knows the answer to one's plea, and that answer is: No." --Cathleen Schine, "The New York Review of Books" ""Blue Nights," though as""elegantly written as one would expect, is rawer than its predecessor, the 'impenetrable polish' of former, better days now""chipped and scratched. The author as she presents herself here, aging and baffled, is defenseless against the pain of loss, not only the loss of loved ones but the loss that is yet to come: the loss, that is, of selfhood. The book will be another huge success . . . Certainly as a testament of suffering nobly borne, which is what it will be generally taken for, it is exemplary. However, it is most profound, and most provocative, at another level, the level at which""the author comes fully to realize, and to face squarely, the dismaying fact that against life's worst onslaughts nothing avails, not even art; especially not art." --John Banville, "The New York Times Book Review" "The master of American prose turns her sharp eye on her own family once again in this breathtaking follow-up to "The Year of Magical Thinking." With harrowing honesty and mesmerizing style, Didion chronicles the tragic death of her daughter, Quintana, interwoven with memories of their happier days together and Didion's own meditations on aging." --Malcolm Jones and Lucas Wittmann, "Newsweek" "A searing memoir" --