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parsed(2007-02-01) - pubdate: 02/07
pub date: 1170309600
today: 1603774800, pubdate > today = false

nyp: 0;

Year of Magical Thinking

About this Item

ISBN: 9781400078431
format: Trade paperback
series: Vintage International
pages: 240
publisher: Random House of Canada
pub. date: 2007-02-01

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Shortly after Christmas 2003, Joan Didion and her husband returned home from visiting their gravely ill daughter in hospital. While she prepared supper, and he prepared drinks, in the middle of their conversation about the historical consequences of the First World War, he dropped dead of a massive coronary. In this shattering self-analysis, Didion describes the year that follows, as she, well-known for her incisive, clear thinking, tries to come to grips with her muddled, complicated grief--and how she dealt with the on-going crisis of her daughter's health. Stunningly well-written, this is a beautiful, painful memoir.


From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: 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.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic 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 Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center 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.”

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