South and West

South and West

From A Notebook

Book - 2017
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Joan Didion has always kept notebooks of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays, and copies of articles. "Notes on the South" traces a road trip she took with her husband John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Her acute observations about the small towns they pass through, her interviews with prominent local figures, and their preoccupation with race, class, and heritage seem to suggest a South largely unchanged today. "California notes" 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 West, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento.
Two excerpts from never-before-seen notebooks offer insights into the author's literary mind and process and includes notes on her Sacramento upbringing, her life in the Gulf states, her views on prominent locals and her experiences during a formative "Rolling Stone" assignment.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2017.
ISBN: 9781524732790
1524732796
9781524732806
Characteristics: xx, 126 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Rich, Nathaniel 1980-

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hholley Nov 16, 2017

A quick, thoughtful read in the classic Joan Didion writing style.


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gale37
Apr 07, 2018

Not the best work of Didion. A sort of wandering through the south of the USA with no explicit conclusions or descriptions and not very many implicit ones either.

hholley Nov 16, 2017

A quick, thoughtful read in the classic Joan Didion writing style.

i
Indoorcamping
Oct 23, 2017

Takes you back to 1970's Southern life where we were so different and so, wow, not like California in 2017, except maybe that you could see Trump as president in 1970's Mississippi. Really gorgeous description of the cultural landscape, especially toward race, class, customs, traditions, and change that isn't change from the perspective of over forty years. There's nothing better to read than a Joan Didion notebook - it's over before you know it but you feel like you've lived it. And it's better to live it through her writing than through your own experience, especially in 2017.

d
DoctorVine
Apr 27, 2017

Joan Didion's craft is the very best of the latter half of the 20th century.
You will learn something; something important.
A new word or phrase will expand your intellect.
You will also laugh a great deal.
Most writers do not come close.

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