Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
I find it somewhat difficult to describe what exactly it is about the essay writing of Joan Didion that strikes a chord with me but needless to say her work as both journalist and novelist has positioned her as one of this nation’s most respected storytellers and “prose stylists.” Her lyrical yet non-obstructive prose is clear and concise as she effortlessly chronicles the meanings and mythologies lodged behind the cultural values and norms that reside within the national fat cells of the American psyche. From her early California-centric pieces to her award-winning memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking (about the death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunn), Didion’s work is a well-crafted lens that helps us to understand the broad macrocosmic shifts throughout history by examining the minutiae and the ephemeral.
We tell ourselves stories in order to live : collected nonfiction