South and West by Joan Didion audiobook

South and West: From a Notebook

By Joan Didion
Foreword written and read by Nathaniel Rich
Read by Kimberly Farr

Random House Audio 9781524732790
2.85 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $10.00
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9780525494195

From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking: 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 articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, 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. And from a different notebook: the "California Notes" that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. 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. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From.   One of TIME’s most anticipated books of 2017   One of The New York Times Book Review's “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017” Incldued among the Best Books of March 2017 by both LitHub and Signature    

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

Time Magazine Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2017

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2017

LitHub Pick

New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking: 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 articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, 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. And from a different notebook: the "California Notes" that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. 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. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From.

 
One of TIME’s most anticipated books of 2017
 
One of The New York Times Book Review's “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017”

Incldued among the Best Books of March 2017 by both LitHub and Signature
 

 

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Narrator Kimberly Farr dissolves the barrier between author and listener, creating an intimate atmosphere. Her unforced performance conveys Didion’s unguarded reactions to life in the South, primarily in 1970. Farr enlivens Didion’s recollections, highlighting the author’s curiosity about the people she meets and the conversations she overhears as well as her uneasiness both in backwoods communities in rural Mississippi and at social gatherings in New Orleans’ Garden District. When Didion reflects on her native California, Farr’s tone lightens, underscoring the author’s comfort at being in familiar territory. This collection of unedited notebook entries emphasizes the sociocultural differences between the Gulf Coast and the West Coast, most of which still ring true decades later. Essayist Nathaniel Rich reads his own foreword to the audiobook.” AudioFile
There’s a universal rule against reading someone else’s diary—but in this case, it’s not just OK, it’s required reading. Marie Claire
The power of [Didion’s] work—her ability to precisely articulate feelings, atmosphere, and undercurrents, [is] on striking display in this slender volume…Didion’s notes are remarkably polished and slicing in their response to place, conversations overheard and instigated, perceptions of social attitudes, and detection of hypocrisy, irony, and injustice; they shimmer with dark implications. A book for her many avid readers, and anyone interested in the mysterious process of writing. Booklist
Here are many of the splendid, sharp-eyed sentences for which [Didion] has long been admired…her observations are classics: a man with a shotgun shooting pigeons on a street in a Mississippi town; a comment about the fierce heat: ‘all movement seemed liquid.’ An almost spectral text haunted by a past that never seems distant. Kirkus Reviews  
You'll learn more about America's future from Didion's 40-year-old field notes...than you will from tomorrow's newspaper. Esquire  
“You’ll learn more about America’s future from Didion’s forty-year-old field notes…than you will from tomorrow’s newspaper.” Esquire
South and West is a compelling book — rooted utterly in a past now all but lost to us, while also incredibly timely and relevant...[it] bears the hallmarks of Didion’s sparkling prose: her use of detail, juxtaposition, and compression...sentence fragment, description, and insight...Originally written in the 1970s as a pair of diaries, it finally sees the light of day at a moment when California and the Real America of the South are warring over the soul of the country.... South and West is vital, ultimately, for how it demonstrates (even inadvertently) how such a tension plays out. Colin Dickey, The Los Angeles Review of Books      
South and West: From a Notebook  reveals the author at her most fascinatingly unfiltered, recording folksy vernacular at a motel pool, having G & Ts with Walker Percy, and searching fruitlessly for Faulkner’s grave in an Oxford cemetery…her riffs on everything from Gertrude Atherton to crossing the Golden Gate bridge for the first time in three-inch heels captures the thrill of a writer discovering her richest subject: the American mythologies that governed her own romantic girlhood, a yearning for an MGM-style heritage that never really was—a yearning that feels freshly perilous in its delusions. Megan O’Grady, Vogue
“The author at her most fascinatingly unfiltered…Captures the thrill of a writer discovering her richest subject: the American mythologies that governed her own romantic girlhood.” Vogue

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Joan Didion

Author Bio: Joan Didion

Joan Didion is a New York Times bestselling author whose many books include The Year of Magical Thinking, winner of the National Book Award. She graduated from the University of California at Berkley and moved to New York after winning a contest at Vogue. Her first novel, Run River, was published to much acclaim in 1963. Her first nonfiction work was Slouching towards Bethlehem, which Alfred Kazin called “some of the best prose written today in this country.”

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Literary Collections
Runtime: 2.85
Audience: Adult
Language: English