We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction

Joan Didion, John Leonard (University of Western Ontario)

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction
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We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction

Joan Didion, John Leonard (University of Western Ontario)

Read the works discussed in the Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Includes seven books in one volume: the full texts of Slouching Towards Bethlehem; The White Album; Salvador; Miami; After Henry; Political Fictions; and Where I Was From. Joan Didion’s incomparable and distinctive essays and journalism are admired for their acute, incisive observations and their spare, elegant style. Now the seven books of nonfiction that appeared between 1968 and 2003 have been brought together into one thrilling collection. Slouching Towards Bethlehem captures the counterculture of the sixties, its mood and lifestyle, as symbolized by California, Joan Baez, Haight-Ashbury. The White Album covers the revolutionary politics and the contemporary wasteland of the late sixties and early seventies, in pieces on the Manson family, the Black Panthers, and Hollywood. Salvador is a riveting look at the social and political landscape of civil war. Miami exposes the secret role this largely Latin city played in the Cold War, from the Bay of Pigs through Watergate. In After Henry Didion reports on the Reagans, Patty Hearst, and the Central Park jogger case. The eight essays in Political Fictions-on censorship in the media, Gingrich, Clinton, Starr, and compassionate conservatism, among others-show us how we got to the political scene of today. And in Where I Was From Didion shows that California was never the land of the golden dream.

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