Joan Didion: memoir yes, blogs not so much
One of the things New Yorkers have that Angelenos don't is, apparently, the chance to rub shoulders with the author Joan Didion. Although some of Didion's signature work -- the collection "The White Album" and parts of "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" -- was written while she lived in Los Angeles, Didion largely left the city for New York decades ago.
The blog Guest of a Guest caught up with Didion at a luncheon at 21 on Wednesday and asked her about what she's writing and what she thinks of all this new media stuff. Didion said:
"Well, I don't really understand blogging. It seems like writing, except quicker. I mean, I'm not actually looking for that instant feedback."
"It makes me uncomfortable. It's an entirely different impulse, I guess. It's like talking."
Didion, a keen observer who writes spare, powerful sentences, won the National Book Award in 2005 for "The Year of Magical Thinking." The book is a memoir about the year after the death of Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne; they'd been marrried for almost 40 years.
Didion's next book, titled "Blue Nights," will be another memoir, she told Guest of a Guest. It's scheduled to be published by Knopf in 2011 and focuses on getting older -- and it won't exactly be a fun-filled romp. "I'd just as soon skip it," she said of aging. "Skip that aspect. Skip that."
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Joan Didion in 2007. Credit: Seth Wenig / Associated Press