Greenpoint, October, 2015

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Write, She Said

(Photo: Julian Wasser/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
There's a chilly portrait of Joan Didion at 76 in the current New York Magazine. Read it or don't, you will be transfixed by this photo of her from 1970.

This is around the time of Didion's novel, Play It As It Lays:

In the first hot month of the fall, in the summer after she left Carter, the summer Carter left her, the summer Carter stopped living at the house in Beverly Hills, a bad season in the city, Maria put seven thousand miles on her Corvette. Sometimes at night the dread would overtake her, bathe her in sweat, flood her mind with sharp flash images of Les Goodwin in New York and Carter out there in the desert with BZ and Helene and the irrevocability of what seemed already to have happened, but she never thought about that on the freeway.

Who are all these people? Who cares. You could spend days taking apart that paragraph and never figure out why it works so well: She writes the way she drives.

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