South and West: From a Notebook - WikipediaWhich contemporary authors are overrated? I care less about what IS important and interesting — than what Joan found important and interesting. The overall mood of that section is one of ominous boredom. One gets the clear, intimate sense of living in a place and just how much doing so can shape the trajectory of a life. Reading South and West made me curious to visit the Gulf South — to see how much it is today as Joan described then — and also eminently grateful not to have grown up there, with its stagnant traditions and possibilities.
An Introduction to Joan Didion
Review: 'South and West: From a Notebook,' by Joan Didion
From one of the most important chroniclers of our time, come two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks—writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articlesHere is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June , through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento.
Look Inside. Mar 07, Minutes Buy. Jan 02, ISBN Mar 07, ISBN Mar 07, Minutes. South and West gives us two extended excerpts from notebooks she kept in the s; read together, they form a piercing view of the American political and cultural landscape. Her acute observations about the small towns they pass through, her interviews with local figures, and their preoccupation with race, class, and heritage suggest a South largely unchanged today.
Didion's South and West is a pleasure to read.
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