Best Essays Didion

The Saturday Evening Post, a mainstream magazine remembered for its frequent cover paintings by Norman Rockwell, assigned Didion to report and write on cultural and social topics.

As society seemed to change in startling ways, Didion, the daughter of conservative Republicans and herself a Goldwater voter in 1964, found herself observing the influx of hippies, Black Panthers, and the rise of the counterculture.

By early 1967, she later recalled, she was finding it difficult to work.

And here is the “White Album” essay: https://uk/fac/arts/english/currentstudents/undergraduate/modules/fulllist/special/en304/syllabus2015-16/didion_the_white_

Joan Didion is a noted American writer whose essays helped define the New Journalism movement in the 1960s.

She became an editor and a highly professional writer in the world of glossy magazines.

She edited copy, wrote articles and movie reviews, and developed a set of skills which would serve her for the rest of her career.

A critic interviewed in the documentary, Hilton Als of The New Yorker, said, “The weirdness of America somehow got into this person’s bones and came out on the other side of a typewriter.” Joan Didion was born December 5, 1934, in Sacramento, California.

World War II broke out days after Didion's seventh birthday, and when her father joined the military the family began moving about the country.

It opens with passages in which Didion evokes, with carefully chosen details, how in the "cold late spring of 1967" America was in a time of bleak despair and "adolescents drifted from city to torn city." Didion then described, with novelistic detail, the characters she spent time with, many of whom were taking drugs or seeking to acquire drugs or talking about their recent drug trips.

The article departed from standard journalistic practice.


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