So I know I'm a few years late on this, but I'm reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and it's hands-down one of the best books I have ever read.
Like, I want to buy a copy for everyone I know and make them read it.
I've always known of Joan Didion and was aware of people's fascination with her; now I know why.
Like, I want to put her picture on my mantle and pray to it nightly.
Out of excruciatingly painful personal experience, Joan Didion has written a lacerating yet peculiarly stirring book "about death, about illness, about probability and luck, about good fortune and bad, about marriage and children and memory, about grief, about the ways in which people do and do not deal with the fact that life ends, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself."
In December 2003 two terrible things happened: her only child, Quintana, married months earlier, was hospitalized in a coma, and five days later her husband, John Gregory Dunne, died "in the living room of our apartment in New York [after] a sudden massive coronary event" just as he and Didion were about to have dinner. For more than a year, Didion's life was completely taken over by these events; The Year of Magical Thinking is the story of that year.
It is an intensely personal story that involves a relatively small cast of characters, but Didion's telling of it is clearly impelled in large measure by the events in New York of September 2001. The theme that persists throughout The Year of Magical Thinking is the seamless progression from the ordinary to the catastrophic: "You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."
Look how fabulous she is:
I can't believe I didn't read this book sooner. Buy it now!