Join us for a very special event with Alta Journal's Books Editor David L. Ulin for a discusssion of Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s. Edited by David L. Ulin, this Library of America edition definitively collects of one of the most original and electric writers of our time with a volume gathering her five iconic books of the 1960s & 70s. David will be in conversation with Carol Edgardian--essayist, editor, and author of Three Stages of Amazement: A Novel.
Joan Didion's influence on postwar American letters is undeniable. Whether writing fiction, memoir, or trailblazing journalism, her gifts for narrative and dialogue, and her intimate but detached authorial persona, have won her legions of readers and admirers. Now Library of America launches its multi-volume edition of Didion's collected writings, prepared in consultation with the author, that brings together her fiction and nonfiction for the first time. Collected in this first volume are Didion's five iconic books from the 1960s and 1970s: Run River, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, and The White Album. Whether writing about countercultural San Francisco, the Las Vegas wedding industry, Lucille Miller, Charles Manson, or the shopping mall, Didion achieves a wonderful negative sublimity without condemning her subjects or condescending to her readers. Chiefly about California, these books display Didion's genius for finding exactly the right language and tone to capture America's broken twilight landscape at a moment of headlong conflict and change.
David L. Ulin is the author or editor of ten books, including Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay; the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award; and T he Lost Art of Reading: Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Tom and Mary Gallagher Fellowship from Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship. The former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times, he teaches at the University of Southern California.
Carol Edgarian is an author, editor and publisher. Her novels include the New York Times bestseller Three Stages of Amazement and the international bestseller Rise the Euphrates, winner of the ANC Freedom Prize. Her articles and essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and W, among others, and she is co-editor of The Writer’s life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame. She is co-founder and editor of Narrative, a leading digital publisher of fiction, poetry, interviews and art.