December 21 - 27 | 2015

JOAN DIDION
"The Year of Magical Thinking" 

JOAN DIDION Malibu c.1976

JOAN DIDION Malibu c.1976

I have this weird relationship with books. It is rare that I would walk in a bookstore, searching for a specific title. Most commonly I walk in a bookstore and expect "my" book to find me.

It was on a such occasion, when I was visiting the store at the TATE museum in London, that I got attracted to this book. "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion.  

At this point, Joan Didion was unknown to me (a fact for which I feel ashamed right now). 'Will speak to and maybe comfort anyone who has lost for ever the one they loved' stated the review by the Daily Mail

The book describes the one-year-period after the death of Didion's husband and partner for 40 years, fellow writer John Greggory Dunne. More specifically, it records Joan Didion's struggle to accept her husband's death, to believe that he will come back, to find evidence that he never will. The book is beautiful and heartbreaking. I myself went through two losses this year and the concept of someone close dying, although reason, is still unexplainable, unacceptable to me.

"Life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends. The question of self-pity."

Joan Didion and John Dunne, 1992 

Joan Didion and John Dunne, 1992 

Despite the heartbreaking loss, "The Year of Magical Thinking" introduced me to this amazing American author, Didion, who has a lifetime work which I am only beginning to discover. The manner of investigation in her writing, even when it comes to such a personal event is astounding! Also, again despite the grief, the book depicts a beautiful love story. Didion and Dunne, both of them writers, spent 40 years together, being by each other's side every day, working and travelling. Moments, on which Didion reminisces, when going back and forth between Dunne's presence and current absence. 

It is my struggle with these week hypes that I try to write short, informative posts on my weekly inspirations. However, I often find, and with Didion even more, that I can't find the minimum amount of words in which I could describe my astonishment with a certain persona. So, I will leave it with this, until next time.

"Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control." 
Joan Didion, "The Year of Magical Thinking"

Photographed by Irving Penn, Vogue, September 1996  

Photographed by Irving Penn, Vogue, September 1996