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South and West: From a Notebook

South and West: From a Notebook By Joan Didion South and West From a Notebook From the best selling author of the National Book Award winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts from her never before seen notebooks writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into

  • Title: South and West: From a Notebook
  • Author: Joan Didion
  • ISBN: 9781524732790
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Hardcover
  • South and West: From a Notebook By Joan Didion From the best selling author of the National Book Award winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts from her never before seen notebooks writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer.Joan Didion has always kept notebooks of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles and here isFrom the best selling author of the National Book Award winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts from her never before seen notebooks writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer.Joan Didion has always kept notebooks of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters Convention She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through And from a different notebook the California Notes that 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 city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From.
    South and West: From a Notebook By Joan Didion

    South and West From a Notebook South and West From a Notebook reveals the author at her most fascinatingly unfiltered, recording folksy vernacular at a motel pool, having G Ts with Walker Percy, and searching fruitlessly for Faulkner s grave in an Oxford cemetery her riffs on everything from Gertrude Atherton South and West From a Notebook by Joan Didion As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the s It consists of two essays California Notes is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for Event Space in Upstate SC SouthWest Located in downtown Easley, near Old Market Square, SouthWest provides a charming and convenient setting that can accommodate seating for groups of up to indoors, and expand outdoors to entertain up to additional guests on our covered patio. Compass North, South, East and West MATH WSW West South West , WNW West North West , NNW North North west Example in the morning there was a strong North wind, but later it swung around to the North East Example they were sailing mainly South West, but sometimes a little towards South South West Southwest Washington Go Northwest A Travel Guide Southwest Washington is Lewis and Clark territory, a land rich in American heritage It was here that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark concluded their , mile exploration, arriving at the West Coast COVID Cases Rebound Across the South and West Jun , COVID Cases Rebound Across the South and West By Brenda Goodman, MA June , Almost a month after many states began to roll back lockdowns and nearly weeks after

    • ☆ South and West: From a Notebook ✓ Joan Didion
      327 Joan Didion

    One thought on “South and West: From a Notebook

    1. Vincent Scarpa on said:

      I love Joan Didion.On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler s Pitch Dark, Mary Robison s Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams s State of Grace I can make have made a convincing argument that the opening paragraph of Slouching Towards Bethlehem is probably the very best opening paragraph in all of creative nonfiction.I think, and I am not alone in this certainly, that her body of work cements her as one of the most impor [...]

    2. Trish on said:

      Joan Didion s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who knew about important local happenings, but she had a hard time gathering the ambition to follow through with attending events in the muggy heat She made notes, but the aimless drift through a South she knew was importan [...]

    3. Ammar on said:

      Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works Here we are in the 70s in the South New Orleans the past the glimpse of conversations in elevators the state of various swimming pools in hotels the process of writing in a notebook The west the look toward the future And reading it in 2017 still makes [...]

    4. Dianne on said:

      Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts Most of the book is Didion s reflections on the South circa 1970 The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial I loved the section devoted to the South not so much the West.No one writes like Didion her prose is so pure and crisp, her observations so keen and precise Didion s tone is always cool, almost clinical, but she cuts straig [...]

    5. Ivonne Rovira on said:

      How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never got published finally saw the light now in the wake of the election.Because, in fact, Didion, the eternal pessimist, knew what we did not That nothing has really changed since she and her husband John Gregory Dunne m [...]

    6. Rachel León on said:

      I picked this one up because I m doing Book Riot s Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn t very good The tone is rather condescending and it s just not all that interesting.

    7. Cheryl on said:

      We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water skiers on the black bayou water This collection is comprised of conversations and observations from a notebook As is customarily her style, Didion recorded bits and pieces that reveal lifestyle and cultural landscape She [...]

    8. Shirleen R on said:

      I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West 2017 Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages I m not from the South I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through cities, towns, and former Delta plantations in Louisiana and Mississippi My location was urban, near a university, a self described blue dot in a red sea Yet, Didion s dismissive flippant, at times haughty remarks about the U. [...]

    9. Lauren on said:

      Setting 1970 Deep South roadtrip Louisiana, Mississippi, AlabamaDidion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand the west She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link intricately in this piece Three quarters of the book are devoted to her travels in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, with only the last section fully describing her own experiences of West , coming of age in California Her writing is so effortless It took me [...]

    10. Sarah on said:

      My introduction to Joan Didion s writing, and probably not the best place to start This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S followed by a couple of pages of notes on California I liked the prose in the South section, and enjoyed the little slices of life Didion captured through her observations However I think it was a mistake to include the West part This part was less well written because these were literal n [...]

    11. Kasa Cotugno on said:

      Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published A 40 year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970 s.

    12. Rachel Dows on said:

      Oh my Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day So, of course, I went to the bookstore I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback.And boy was it worth it.The moment I dove into her prose I was no longer a stressed out, sleep deprived member of the proletariat rather, I entered the world of Joan Didion s observation First, New Orleans Ohh, New Orleans Somehow Didion has the ability to dra [...]

    13. Paul on said:

      Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gathers information just from hanging out and listening than she does from research.Everyone should read this very short book It s amazing and beautifully written.

    14. Stephanie on said:

      I picked South and West off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons It s by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I ve always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year I can t recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity seeker after Didion s writing habits in the 70s In both cases, these essays are notes taken preparatory to longer pieces about the South and California at the time of the Patty Heart trial The longer piece about a one mon [...]

    15. Chris on said:

      Jesus, Didion can write And observe Made me sorry I didn t take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago This is my kind of book.

    16. Dawn on said:

      When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else s finished product

    17. Andrew Gallina on said:

      Stunning South and West is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion s signature crystalline prose As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller She is truly a literary genius

    18. Catherine Kraemer on said:

      Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970 I always enjoy Didion s writing, and this was no exception.

    19. Daniel Chaikin on said:

      25 South and West From a Notebook Audio by Joan Didionreader Kimberly Farrpublished 2017format Overdrive digital audio, 2 51acquired Libraryread June 1 4rating 4This is a book Didion never wrote She traveled through the deep south by car in 1970, observing, carefully avoiding anything newsworthy She was just trying to understand a people she couldn t understand And she would go to California and cover the Patty Hearst trial with a plan to compare and contrast California and the deep south and th [...]

    20. Laura on said:

      From BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week New Orleans oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex lover and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion s home in California.From the best selling author of the award winning The Year of Magical Thinking excerpts from her never before seen notebooks.Joan Didion has always kept notebooks of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles and here is one that traces a road trip she took in June 1970, [...]

    21. Annikky on said:

      Embarassingly, this was my first Didion As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she s written These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call cashing in , but hers are very much worth reading especially the first, longer piece about the South Love her mind and her style I m pretty sure that if I had read something else by her first, I would have liked it less So maybe it was all for the best in the end.

    22. Jonathan Maas on said:

      Brilliant to a FaultI found my entry into the world of Joan Didion in this book and was immediately bowled over by her insight, and the undeniable brilliance of her prose It reminded me of the non fiction of David Foster Wallace s Consider the Lobster and Other Essays not only brilliant but accessible reading their prose is like eating chocolate.But the chocolate is bitter, so bitter that it makes you question why you liked chocolate in the first place.Wallace writes about lobster festivals, and [...]

    23. Kevin on said:

      Skip the Nathaniel Rich intro until after you ve read the text if you feel the need to read it at all.

    24. Michael Neiberg on said:

      I first read Joan Didion when I was 19 I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style This is her at her very best.

    25. Sarah on said:

      I thoroughly enjoyed Joan Didion s notebooks from her travels in the deep South in 1970 She started in New Orleans and wound her way through Biloxi, Oxford, Meridian, Tuscaloosa, Grenada and Greenville, all places I have visited in the last two years She was traveling just after the devastation of hurricane Camille and the atom bomb of the Civil Rights Legislation I have traveled to these areas as a divided political climate expanded and the rebuilding after hurricane Katrina Her observations of [...]

    26. Jo Dervan on said:

      Joan DIdion is an author who makes a habit of researching future books by visiting the area where they will be set She keeps notebooks with all her thoughts, observations, conversations and drafts of articles and essays In 1970 she and her husband took a trip to the South to get a feel for this part of the US after the Civil Rights Act had been in place a few years and school desegregation was being enforced by the federal government They flew from California to New Orleans and rented a car for [...]

    27. Vivek Tejuja on said:

      Joan Didion s works are not easy to read But once you read her books, there is no stopping I remember reading The Year of Magical Thinking when it was first published in 2005 and wrenched completely to the gut by its honesty Since then, I haven t missed reading a single book by her My copy of her latest, South and West From a Notebook came all the way from Shakespeare Co in Paris, a gift from my sister Anyhow, now back to the book.Her essays are introspective unlike her fictional works Don t get [...]

    28. Jessica Warland on said:

      I first picked up South and West last year when it was book club Belletrist s first ever pick I ve read Slouching Towards Bethlehem, which I rated 4 5 and really loved South and West obviously still has that cadence and eloquence that comes with Didion and drags you in, but something about this one stopped me from connecting to it Maybe because it s so full of imagery of places I have never been too and don t know first hand Although this hasn t ever been a problem for me before I m disappointed [...]

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