LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Joan Didion - Author

About the Author

Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York. She is the author of five novels and seven previous books of non-fiction: Where I Was From, Political Fictions, The Last Thing He Wanted, After Henry, Miami, Democracy, Salvador, The White Album, A Book of Common Prayer, Play It as It Lays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and Run River.

Featured books by Joan Didion

Other books by Joan Didion

Salvador

Salvador

Author: Joan Didion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2019

El Salvador, 1982, is at the height of a ghastly civil war. Joan Didion travels from battlefields to body dumps, interviews a puppet president, considers the distinctly Salvadorean meaning of the verb 'to disappear' and trains a merciless eye not only on the terror there but also on the depredations and evasions of US foreign policy. Salvador is a restless and unflinching masterclass in the art of reportage by one of the great literary stylists of the twentieth century.

Miami

Miami

Author: Joan Didion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2019

This is a surprising portrait of the pastel city, a masterly study of Cuban immigration and exile, and a sly account of vile moments in the Cold War. Miami may be the sunniest place in America but this is Didion's darkest book, in which she explores American efforts to overthrow the Castro regime, Miami's civic corruption and racist treatment of its large black community.

Collected Essays

Collected Essays

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 06/03/2018

Three essential works that redefined the art of journalism by ';one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers' (The New York Times). In these masterpieces of razor-sharp reportage, the National Book Awardwinning and New York Timesbestselling author proves herself one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, ';an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time' (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Slouching Towards Bethlehem: America in the 1960sa pivotal era of social change and generational divide. Here is Joan Didion on the ';misplaced children' of Haight-Ashbury as well as John Wayne in Hollywood; folk singer Joan Baez and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes; the extremes of both Death Valley and Las Vegas. Named to Time magazine's list of the one hundred best and most influential nonfiction books, this is ';a rare display of some of the best prose written today in this country' (The New York Times Book Review). The White Album: A New York Times bestseller, this landmark essay collection confronts the dark aftermath of the 1960s. From a jailhouse visit to Huey Newton, cofounder of the Black Panther Party, to a recording session with The Doors, from the culture of shopping malls to the contradictions of the women's movement, Joan Didion captures the paranoia and absurdity of the era with irony and insight. And in the iconic title essay, she documents her uneasy state of mind during the years leading up to and following the Manson murdersa terrifying crime that, in her memory, surprised no one. After Henry: Whether reporting on a Hollywood murder or the ';sideshows' of foreign wars, Joan Didion crystalizes her reputation as a brilliant essayist. Highlights include a portrait of the White House under the Reagans, two ';actors on location'; an unexpected meditation on the Patty Hearst case; and an expose on the racial divisions and class fault lines of New York City following the rape of the Central Park jogger. An indispensable collection from a writer on whom we can rely ';to get the story straight' (Los Angeles Times).

South and West

South and West

Author: Joan Didion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2018

From one of the most important chroniclers of our time, come two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks - writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles Here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the California Notes that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Author: Joan Didion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/11/2017

Joan Didion's savage masterpiece, which, since first publication in 1968, has been acknowledged as an unparalleled report on the state of America during the upheaval of the Sixties Revolution. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were In her non-fiction work, Joan Didion not only describes the subject at hand - her younger self loving and leaving New York, the murderous housewife, the little girl trailing the rock group, the millionaire bunkered in his mansion - but also offers a broader vision of the world, one that is both terrifying and tender, ominous and uniquely her own.

The White Album

The White Album

Author: Joan Didion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/11/2017

Joan Didion's hugely influential collection of essays which defines, for many, the America which rose from the ashes of the Sixties. We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea. In this now legendary journey into the hinterland of the American psyche, Didion searches for stories as the Sixties implode. She waits for Jim Morrison to show up, visits the Black Panthers in prison, parties with Janis Joplin and buys dresses with Charles Manson's girls. She and her reader emerge, cauterized, from this devastating tour of that age of self discovery into the harsh light of the morning after.

South and West

South and West

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 21/09/2017

From one of the most important chroniclers of our time, come two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks-writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer.Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articlesHere is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through.And from a different notebook: the "e;California Notes"e; that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage.

White Album

White Album

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 09/05/2017

An extraordinary report on the aftermath of the 1960s in America by the New York Timesbestselling author of South and West and Slouching Towards Bethlehem. In this landmark essay collection, Joan Didion brilliantly interweaves her own ';bad dreams' with those of a nation confronting the dark underside of 1960s counterculture. From a jailhouse visit to Black Panther Party cofounder Huey Newton to witnessing First Lady of California Nancy Reagan pretend to pick flowers for the benefit of news cameras, Didion captures the paranoia and absurdity of the era with her signature blend of irony and insight. She takes readers to the ';giddily splendid' Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the cool mountains of Bogot, and the Jordanian Desert, where Bishop James Pike went to walk in Jesus's footstepsand died not far from his rented Ford Cortina. She anatomizes the culture of shopping malls';toy garden cities in which no one lives but everyone consumes'and exposes the contradictions and compromises of the women's movement. In the iconic title essay, she documents her uneasy state of mind during the years leading up to and following the Manson murdersa terrifying crime that, in her memory, surprised no one. Written in ';a voice like no other in contemporary journalism,' The White Album is a masterpiece of literary reportage and a fearless work of autobiography by the National Book Awardwinning author of The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times Book Review). Its power to electrify and inform remains undiminished nearly forty years after it was first published.

Play It as It Lays

Play It as It Lays

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 09/05/2017

A harrowing tale of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and a young woman in pursuit of oblivion by the New York Timesbestselling author of The White Album. Spare, elegant, and terrifying, Play It as It Lays is the unforgettable story of a woman and a society come undone. Raised in the ghost town of Silver Wells, Nevada, Maria Wyeth is an ex-model and the star of two films directed by her estranged husband, Carter Lang. But in the spiritual desert of 1960s Los Angeles, Maria has lost the plot of her own life. Her daughter, Kate, was born with an ';aberrant chemical in her brain.' Her long-troubled marriage has slipped beyond repair, and her disastrous love affairs and strained friendships provide little comfort. Her only escape is to get in her car and drive the freewayin the fast lane with the radio turned up highuntil it runs out ';somewhere no place at all where the flawless burning concrete just stopped.' But every ride to nowhere, every sleepless night numbed by pills and booze and sex, makes it harder for Maria to find the meaning in another day. Told with profound economy of style and a ';vision as bleak and precise as Eliot's in ';The Wasteland',' Play It as It Lays ruthlessly dissects the dark heart of the American dream (The New York Times). It is a searing masterpiece ';from one of the very few writers of our time who approaches her terrible subject with absolute seriousness, with fear and humility and awe' (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review).

Miami

Miami

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 09/05/2017

An astonishing account of Cuban exiles, CIA informants, and cocaine traffickers in Florida by the New York Timesbestselling author of South and West. In Miami, the National Book Awardwinning author of The Year of Magical Thinking looks beyond postcard images of fluorescent waters, backlit islands, and pastel architecture to explore the murkier waters of a city on the edge. From Fidel Castro and the Bay of Pigs invasion to Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination to Oliver North and the IranContra affair, Joan Didion uncovers political intrigues and shadowy underworld connections, and documents the US government's ';seduction and betrayal' of the Cuban exile community in Dade County. She writes of hotels that offer ';guerrilla discounts,' gun shops that advertise Father's Day deals, and a real-estate market where ';Unusual Security and Ready Access to the Ocean' are perks for wealthy homeowners looking to make a quick escape. With a booming drug trade, staggering racial and class inequities, and skyrocketing murder rates, Miami in the 1980s felt more like a Third World capital than a modern American city. Didion describes the violence, passion, and paranoia of these troubled times in arresting detail and ';beautifully evocative prose' (The New York Times Book Review). A vital report on an immigrant community traumatized by broken dreams and the cynicism of US foreign policy, Miami is a masterwork of literary journalism whose insights are timelier and more important than ever.

After Henry

After Henry

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 09/05/2017

Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Timesbestselling author of South and West. In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album ';capture[s] the mood of America' and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times). Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the ';sideshows' of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, ';an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time' (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include ';In the Realm of the Fisher King,' a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two ';actors on location;' and ';Girl of the Golden West,' a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and insightful parallel between the kidnapped heiress and the emigrants who settled California. ';Sentimental Journeys' is a deeply felt study of New York media coverage of the brutal rape of a white investment banker in Central Park, a notorious crime that exposed the city's racial and class fault lines. Dedicated to Henry Robbins, Didion's friend and editor from 1966 until his death in 1979, After Henry is an indispensable collection of ';superior reporting and criticism' from a writer on whom we have relied for more than fifty years ';to get the story straight' (Los Angeles Times).

South and West

South and West

Author: Joan Didion Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/03/2017

From one of the most important chroniclers of our time, come two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks-writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles Here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the California Notes that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 21/03/2017

The ';dazzling' and essential portrayal of 1960s America from the author of South and West and The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times). Capturing the tumultuous landscape of the United States, and in particular California, during a pivotal era of social change, the first work of nonfiction from one of American literature's most distinctive prose stylists is a modern classic. In twenty razor-sharp essays that redefined the art of journalism, National Book Awardwinning author Joan Didion reports on a society gripped by a deep generational divide, from the ';misplaced children' dropping acid in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district to Hollywood legend John Wayne filming his first picture after a bout with cancer. She paints indelible portraits of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and folk singer Joan Baez, ';a personality before she was entirely a person,' and takes readers on eye-opening journeys to Death Valley, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, ';the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements.' First published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been heralded by the New York Times Book Review as ';a rare display of some of the best prose written today in this country' and named to Time magazine's list of the one hundred best and most influential nonfiction books. It is the definitive account of a terrifying and transformative decade in American history whose discordant reverberations continue to sound a half-century later.

South and West

South and West

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2017

From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking: two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks--writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the "e;California Notes"e; that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From. One of TIME's most anticipated books of 2017 One of The New York Times Book Review's';What You'll Be Reading in 2017'Incldued among the Best Books of March 2017 by both LitHub and Signature

Insider Baseball

Insider Baseball

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 04/10/2016

A Vintage Shorts Selection Almost three decades ago, iconic and incomparable American essayist Joan Didion's now-classic report from the Dukakis campaign trail exposed, in no uncertain terms, the complete sham that is the modern American presidential run. Writing with bite and some humor too, Didion betrays ';the process'the way in which power is exchanged and the status quo is maintained. All insiderspoliticians, journalists, spin doctorsparticipate in a political narrative that is ';designed as it is to maintain the illusion of consensus by obscuring rather than addressing actual issues.' The optics of presidential campaigns have grown ever more farcical and remote from the needs and issues most relevant to Americans' lives, and Didion's elegant, shrewd, and prescient commentary has never been more urgent than it is right now. An ebook short.

Sentimentale Reisen

Sentimentale Reisen

Author: Joan Didion Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2016

"e;Ihr Scharfsinn ist gewohnt fein geschliffen und ihr Blick eiswasserklar... Didion hat die Stimmung in Amerika eingefangen."e; The New York TimesJoan Didion gilt seit langem als eine der brillantesten Autorinnen der USA. Die in diesem Band versammelten Essays und Reportagen aus den Jahren 1982 bis 1992 belegen dies eindrucksvoll. Ob Joan Didion vom Parteitag der Demokraten unter Bill Clinton berichtet oder von einem spektakularen Prozess in New York City, ob sie sich mit der Politik, den Medien oder dem Showbusiness befasst - immer zeichnen ihre Texte ein prazises Bild des geistigen und kulturellen Klimas in Amerika, das noch heute gultig ist."e;Die beste Feder der amerikanischen Intellektuellen."e; Der Spiegel "e;Jeder ihrer Satze ist kostbar."e; Die Welt