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Synopses & Reviews
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.
"Kimberly Farr turns in a solid performance in this audio edition of Didion's haunting memoir of her daughter Quintana Roo's illness and death. The book is a sequel of sorts to Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking — about the unexpected death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne — and this previous work haunts Blue Nights and helps to guide Farr's narration. A younger woman than the author, Farr's reading often lacks the mournful quality of the text: her narration is simply perkier than Didion's prose. And while Farr does justice to the author's story — using the elongation of precisely chosen words to indicate untapped reservoirs of emotion — there are times when the reading takes on a tone more appropriate to a less rigorous story of uplift through death. A Knopf hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California, and now lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and eight previous books of nonfiction. Her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, was published by Everyman's Library in 2006.
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