Joan Didion Knows Where to Cut: Plucking Flowers With “Pretty Nancy”

The excitement surrounding Joan Didion’s release of a “new” book called Let Me Tell You What I Mean needn’t be mitigated by the fact that it is a collection of older essays (previously unreleased, therefore everything old is new again), gathered from 1968 to 2000. For Didion is perhaps at her most signaturely eviscerating during this period, and one wonders if a release of truly … Continue reading Joan Didion Knows Where to Cut: Plucking Flowers With “Pretty Nancy”

The Abandonment of California by Joan Didion: A Comparative Glance at Run River and Where I Was From

In an alternate universe, perhaps Joan Didion herself might have become some version of Lily Knight, the dissatisfied, cuckolding Sacramento girl who couldn’t seem to fathom how to be a good wife to the man who loved her. Without her writing talent as a ticket out of town, Didion could have easily become just another Golden State tragedy, damned to a lifetime of complacence and … Continue reading The Abandonment of California by Joan Didion: A Comparative Glance at Run River and Where I Was From

Eve Babitz’ Slow Days, Fast Company: A Lighter Version of Play It As It Lays

As the increasing fascination with Los Angeles persists (all the while with New York City becoming less au courant as a place to lust after in terms of inhabitance), it seems appropriate that Eve Babitz would experience a sudden renaissance after many decades spent under the radar. Her obvious counterpart, Joan Didion, is a darker, more brooding version of Babitz (as showcased in Play It … Continue reading Eve Babitz’ Slow Days, Fast Company: A Lighter Version of Play It As It Lays