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Farewell to Joan Didion from “Year of Magical Thought”

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The legendary American writer Joan Didion, exponent with Tom Wolfe and Truman Capote of the New Journalism of the 60s and 70s, but also a Hollywood screenwriter and novelist, died today of consequences of Parkinson’s in her Manhattan home.
Didion was 87 years old and was the author, among other things, of the moving memoir “The Year of Magical Thought”, inspired by the first of two tragedies that had struck her in the space of two years, sudden death from a heart attack. of her husband John Gregory Dunne returning from the hospital where the couple had just visited their daughter Quintana, suffering from pancreatitis.
For Hollywood, paired with Dunne, the writer had written scripts for films such as “The Panic in Needle Park” (the first with Al Pacino in a starring role), the remake of “A Star Is Born” with Barbra Streisand and of “True Confessions” with Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall, but it was that essay, focused on the elaboration of a sudden mourning, that had made it famous globally: written in just 88 days (“it was as if I sat down to cry” , he had once said), was released in 2005 and became an instant bestseller with over a million copies sold. However, the publishing success was troubled by a new tragedy: Quintana’s death in 2007 from a lethal sepsis.
Awarded a National Book Award, the book was adapted into a Broadway monologue entrusted to friend Vanessa Redgrave: the actress had recently lost her daughter Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident and the personal drama had added another layer of pathos to the original story. Didion then reprized the subject of Quintana’s death in the 2011 memoir “Blue Night”.
“We are deeply sad to announce the passing of Joan Didion,” said publisher Penguin Random House / Knopf.
Famous for recounting the counterculture scene of the 1960s in the book of essays “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”, Didion received the Medal for Humanities in 2013 in a ceremony at the White House during which then President Barack Obama had it. praised as “one of the most celebrated writers of her generation”. In her many works written on a “bicoastal” commute between Manhattan and California, Joan had tried to photograph America’s decadence and hypocrisy: or rather “to explain that Norman Rockwell’s vision of America was a convenient illusion. , but that – said the sociologist Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California – if you look carefully, you discover that we are living in an age in which fear, anxiety, isolation and loneliness have become the rules of the game “. (HANDLE).

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Source From: Ansa

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