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Blue Nights by Joan Didion


Blue Nights by Joan Didion

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. 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.


`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 Thinking':`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

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th June 2012


Joan Didion

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Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


208 pages


Coping with death & bereavement



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