The Year of Magical Thinking

A book by American author Joan Didion.

Joan Didion

From one of America's iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion.

Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: 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. (From Vintage)

Joan Didion was an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. Her writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the '60s and the Hollywood lifestyle.

Didion was the author of The White Album and The Year of Magical Thinking, books that made her a uniquely clear-eyed critic of turbulent times.

Didion died at the age of 87 in 2021.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

Those moments when I was abruptly overtaken by exhaustion are what I remember most clearly about the first days and weeks. I have no memory of telling anyone the details, but I must have done so, because everyone seemed to know them.

At one point I considered the possibility that they had picked up the details of the story from one another, but immediately rejected it: the story was in each instance too accurate to have been passed from hand to hand.

It had come from me.

From The Year of Magical Thinking  by Joan Didion ©2006. Published by Vintage.

Author interviews

Guest host Gill Deacon speaks to Tracy Daugherty about his new biography of the incisive and influential American novelist, journalist, and memoirist Joan Didion.
Columnist Donna Bailey Nurse on why "Nocturne" by Helen Humphreys is a Canadian match for Joan Didion's classic story of grief.
Novelist, screenwriter, playwright and journalist Joan Didion experienced two horrific losses in less than two years: the sudden death of her husband John Gregory Dunne, then the death of her daughter Quintana. Michael Enright spoke with her after the release of her book Blue Nights, a rumination on motherhood, frailty, ageing and loss.

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