South and West: From a Notebook

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Because I have been dismayed by so many books which are slight and “from the writer’s notebook,” I was initially disappointed in receiving this slim volume. However, the slim nature of the book or the caption of “unfinished work” should not dismay the reader. After all, this is Joan Didion, who is a master of observation and prose.

This book comes from her desire to write about the South as the new land of the future. In this, she is prescient about the country in the aftermath of the 2016 election and what has caused this great divide. As she travels through the South, she notices small things that add up to a strong culture of individualism and dissent. She listens intently and records the conversations of Southerners who are attempting to come to grips with the new normal in 1970 of the call for equal rights. It is a chilling bit of writing. Somehow by recording exact conversations or fragments of sentences, she reveals an underlying motif. Joan Didion is a national treasure. For those of us wanting to understand our country, this is a trip worth taking.

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Author Joan Didion
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 126 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2017-Mar-07
ISBN 9781524732790 Buy this Book
Issue May 2017
Category Reference


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