Joan Didion Blue Nights

ISBN 13: 9780007432929

Blue Nights

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9780007432929: Blue Nights

From one of America's greatest and most iconic writers: an honest and courageous portrait of age and motherhood. Several days before Christmas 2003, Joan Didion's only daughter, Quintana, fell seriously ill. In 2010, Didion marked the sixth anniversary of her daughter's death. 'Blue Nights' is a shatteringly honest examination of Joan Didion's life as a mother, a woman and a writer. Recently widowed, and becoming increasingly frail, 'Blue Nights' is Didion's attempt to understand our deepest fears, our inadequate adjustments to aging and to put a name to what we refuse to see and as a consequence fail to face up to, 'this refusal even to engage in such contemplation, this failure to confront the certainties of aging, illness and death. This fear.' This fear is tied to what we cherish most and fight to conserve, protect, and refuse to let go, for, 'when we are talking about mortality we are talking about our children.' To face death is to let go of memory, to be bereft once more, 'I know what it is I am now experiencing. I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is.' The fear is not for what is lost. The fear is for what is still to be lost. You may see nothing still to be lost. Yet there is no day in her life on which I do not see her. A profound, poetic and powerful book about motherhood and the fierce way in which we continue to exalt and nurture our children, even if they only live on in memory. 'Blue Nights' is an intensely personal, and yet, strangely universal account of how we love. It is both groundbreaking and a culmination of a stunning career.

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About the Author:

Joan Didion is the author of five novels and seven previous books of nonfiction: among them the great portraits of a decade in essays, 'Sentimental Journeys', 'The White Album', and 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'. Her previous book, 'The Year of Magical Thinking' was an international bestseller.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue. This period of the blue nights does not occur in subtropical California, where I lived for much of the time I will be talking about here and where the end of daylight is fast and lost in the blaze of the dropping sun, but it does occur in New York, where I now live. You notice it first as April ends and May begins, a change in the season, not exactly a warming—in fact not at all a warming—yet suddenly summer seems near, a possibility, even a promise. You pass a window, you walk to Central Park, you find yourself swimming in the color blue: the actual light is blue, and over the course of an hour or so this blue deepens, becomes more intense even as it darkens and fades, approximates finally the blue of the glass on a clear day at Chartres, or that of the Cerenkov radiation thrown off by the fuel rods in the pools of nuclear reactors. The French called this time of day “l’heure bleue.” To the English it was “the gloaming.” The very word “gloaming” reverberates, echoes— the gloaming, the glimmer, the glitter, the glisten, the glamour—carrying in its consonants the images of houses shuttering, gardens darkening, grass-lined rivers slipping through the shadows. During the blue nights you think the end of day will never come. As the blue nights draw to a close (and they will, and they do) you experience an actual chill, an apprehension of illness, at the moment you first notice: the blue light is going, the days are already shortening, the summer is gone. This book is called “Blue Nights” because at the time I began it I found my mind turning increasingly to illness, to the end of promise, the dwindling of the days, the inevitability of the fading, the dying of the brightness.

Blue nights are the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but they are also its warning.



From the Hardcover edition.

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Didion, Joan
Editore: HarperCollins Publishers (2011)
ISBN 10: 0007432925 ISBN 13: 9780007432929
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Descrizione libro HarperCollins Publishers, 2011. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0007432925

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Didion, Joan
Editore: 4th Estate, 2011 9780007432929 (2011)
ISBN 10: 0007432925 ISBN 13: 9780007432929
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Descrizione libro 4th Estate, 2011 9780007432929, 2011. Soft cover. Condizione libro: New. NEW paperback. 188 pages. The searing follow-up to The Year of Magical Thinking. In the first book, the distinguished writer describes the experience of living with the death of her husband. In Blue Nights she writes about the loss of her daughter. As the blurb says: "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.an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty.". Codice libro della libreria 1393

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