Joan Didion Passes Away at 87 Years Old

By David T. Valentin


Just before Christmas, the American author, novelist and essayist, Joan Didion, passed away at 87 years old.


The writer was known for her unique journalistic style of writing where she would employ literary techniques in order to tell news as a story but with the opinions of the author, thus creating a very subjective telling of facts. The prose style is known as New Journalism.


Didion was mostly known for writing about the counterculture in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, a movement based around anti-establishment protest that fought against the seemingly constant wars of the 20th century.


Her most notable work is Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a collection of essays by Didion detailing her life in California in the ‘60’s. As she writes as a preface to the book, “I went to San Francisco because I had not been able to work in some months, had been paralyzed by the conviction that writing was an irrelevant act, that the world as I had understood it no longer existed. If I was to work again at all, it would be necessary for me to come to terms with disorder.” Some of her most famous articles include interviews with the members of Charles Manson’s family.


She was married to the journalist John Gregory Dunne, and wrote a memoir of her widow’s grief in 2005, The Year of Magical Thinking, which won a National Book Award for Nonfiction. She was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize.


Fans of her work all over the Internet show their love for the author and the influence her work had on them, specifically on Twitter where many are posting quotes of her prose and photographs featuring the American writer.