The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking

Biography & True Stories, Literary Biographies, Non-Fiction
Paperback Published on: 04/09/2006
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'This is a beautiful and devastating book by one of the finest writers we have. Didion has always been a precise, humane and meticulously truthful writer, but on the subject of death she becomes essential.' - Zadie Smith

From one of America's iconic writers, a portrait of a marriage and a life - in good times and bad - that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. A stunning book of electric honesty and passion.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support.

Days later - the night before New Year's Eve -the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of 40 years was over.

Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LA airport, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Centre to relieve a massive hematoma.

This powerful book is Didion's 'attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness ... about marriage and children and memory ... about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself'. The result is an exploration of an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad.

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ISBN: 9780007216857
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Weight: 170g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 15 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Year of Magical Thinking
Raw and Emotional
This is the book that Didon wrote after the very sudden death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, at home over dinner. At the same time her daughter was se... READ MORE
Half Man Half Book
The Year of Magical Thinking
Excellent writing
Leah Moloney
The Year of Magical Thinking
Space and time in grief
“About five in the afternoon on the 24th I thought I could not do the evening but when the time came the evening did itself.” More than a manual for surv... READ MORE
Mariana Pedro Goncalves