Joan Didion: memoir yes, blogs not so much


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One of the things New Yorkers have that Angelenos don’t is, apparently, the chance to rub shoulders with the author Joan Didion. Although some of Didion’s signature work -- the collection ‘The White Album’ and parts of ‘Slouching Toward Bethlehem’ -- was written while she lived in Los Angeles, Didion largely left the city for New York decades ago.

The blog Guest of a Guest caught up with Didion at a luncheon at 21 on Wednesday and asked her about what she’s writing and what she thinks of all this new media stuff. Didion said:


‘Well, I don’t really understand blogging. It seems like writing, except quicker. I mean, I’m not actually looking for that instant feedback.’

Didion continued:

‘It makes me uncomfortable. It’s an entirely different impulse, I guess. It’s like talking.’

Didion, a keen observer who writes spare, powerful sentences, won the National Book Award in 2005 for ‘The Year of Magical Thinking.’ The book is a memoir about the year after the death of Didion’s husband, John Gregory Dunne; they’d been marrried for almost 40 years.

Didion’s next book, titled ‘Blue Nights,’ will be another memoir, she told Guest of a Guest. It’s scheduled to be published by Knopf in 2011 and focuses on getting older -- and it won’t exactly be a fun-filled romp. ‘I’d just as soon skip it,’ she said of aging. ‘Skip that aspect. Skip that.’

-- Carolyn Kellogg