80 Free Essays & Articles by Joan Didion
Joan Didion, born 5th December 1934 is an American author, well known for her amazing writing works and her literary journalism. Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work. Her notable and popular books include The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968), Play It as It Lays (1970), Democracy (1984) and many more. Her breakthrough came when she won first place in the Prix de Paris essay contest sponsored by Vogue, and was awarded a job as a research assistant at the magazine, having written a story on the San Francisco architect, William Wilson Wurster.
After 7 years at Vogue, she wrote her first fiction novel, Run, River (1963). 5 years later, after gotten married to John Gregory Dunne, she published her first work of nonfiction, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. It’s basically a collection of magazine pieces about her experiences in California. Spanning over 54 years from the day of her first book till today, Joan Didion has published over 18 books, 5 of them fictions and 13 nonfictions. She has also written 6 screenplays.
Goodbye to All That
by Joan Didion
Didion’s pratices “New Journalism” as her writing style, where writers tend to turn away from “just the facts” and focus more upon the dialogue of the situation and the scenarios that the author may have experienced. This can help to represent the truth and reality through the author’s eyes.
Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem exemplifies much of what New Journalism represents as it explores the cultural values and experiences of American life in the 1960s. Didion includes her personal feelings and memories in this first person narrative, describing the chaos of individuals and the way in which they perceive the world. Here Didion rejects conventional journalism, and instead prefers to create a subjective approach to essays, a style that is her own. – Wikipedia.
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” – Joan Didion
Most of the essays listed below are only viewable as online articles. So no downloadable versions in PDF or EPUB. Majority of these essays and articles come from major online magazines such as Vogue, The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker. We have also provided a lits of the main pages where you can find all of Didion’s works within these sites, so feel free to browse based on your reading preference.
18 Free Essays by Joan Didion
- Holy Water
- After Life
- Marrying Absurd
- The Santa Ana
- On Morality
- On Self Respect
- Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream
- Goodbye to All That
- In Sable and Dark Glasses
- On Keeping a Notebook
- Why I Write
- Fixed Opinions, or The Hinge of History
- Insider Baseball
- The Women’s Movement
- Joan Didion, The Art of Nonfiction No. 1
- The Teachings of Speaker Gingrich
- The Case of Theresa Schiavo
62 Free Essays from Various Online Magazines
Joan Didion in her New York City apartment, 73 years young.
Image credit achievement.org
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