Joan Didion is a reporter, an author, a journalist and writer. Didion is known for her pieces such as ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’ (1968) and ‘The Year of Magical Thinking‘ (2005) and admired for her cool demeanor and eloquent writing style which can be captured in her past pieces that still resonate today. An example of this is a piece of 1968, according to Brain Pickings. Didion wrote about a “time warp” and how some people in the fifties and sixties had been “led to believe the future was always a rational extension of the past” and that there would be “world enough and time enough for ‘turning attention’ for ‘problems’ and ‘solutions'”. Didion, in her usual satirical rhetoric mocks these kinds of thinkers as she writes “… Of course, they would not join the ‘fashionable doubters'”. Didion captures the existing environment within today’s society and the ignorance that is prevalent within a piece she has written in the past.
Didion has just released a new book named ‘South and West: From a Notebook‘ which, according to Vulture is a small volume that includes “raw” and “unfinished” pieces documented from Didion’s notebook that she carried on her travels to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in June 1970. In the piece, she writes about the preoccupation with race and class according to her publisher, Penguin Random House. Didion has apparently always kept notebooks. She wrote in her personal piece ‘On Keeping A Notebook‘ that can be read in her book ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem‘ that her “impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one” though her notebook entries are not “an accurate factual record” of what she had been doing or thinking at the time. She instead leisurely records events. Paste Magazine describes ‘South and West’ to be a “haunting” portrait of place from the “views of an outsider” and that her it is Didion at her most “unfiltered” as she writes about the sights she witnesses in the south in the 1970’s. Esquire has marked that “You’ll learn more about America’s future from Didion’s 40-year-old field notes…than you will from tomorrows newspaper.”.
To purchase Joan Didion’s new book you can find it here.