The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking

Book - 2005
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From one of America's iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage-and a life, in good times and bad-that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later-the night before New Year's Eve-the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.

This powerful book is Didion's attempt to make sense of the "weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself . "
Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 2005.
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400043149
Branch Call Number: Biography B Did


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Jan 30, 2018

We have been given a gift in the form of a narrative of what life is life in grief, then mourning. The pages turn quickly; the feelings are authentic and poignant.

Cynthia_N Aug 24, 2017

Beautifully written. Didion ends the year with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband having a fatal heart attack while eating dinner. The book chronicles her first year of grief.

AL_HOLLYR Jul 25, 2017

A moving, exceptionally-well written account of unthinkable loss.

xaipe Mar 02, 2016

For anyone who has suffered the death of someone deeply loved - parent, partner, child, this is a deeply moving and personal account of how one brilliant writer dealt with her personal tragedy.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 24, 2015

Didion turns the subject of this memoir -- the year following her husband's death and her adult daughter's serious illness, into what a New York Times reviewer described as a page-turner. Her painful reaction to these events leads to flashbacks from her forty years of marriage and an unfulfillable quest to recover the past. Didion also looks to other authors such as Thomas Mann, C.S. Lewis, Matthew Arnold for solace. An honest look at grief, marriage and motherhood.

Jan 28, 2014

I also found the book hard to put down. I also have been told I appear to have it all together when internally I feel far from whole. I found Joan Didion's insights thoughtful, as they were thought provoking.

Mar 06, 2013

A gripping book. I found it un-putdownable. Only someone insensitive and clueless about grief could call it self-absorbed. I've recommended it to many friends, and they've also found it absorbing. The phenomenon of thinking that the lost person will somehow come back is known to many of us. Didion has lived a long and fascinating life, and she has an ability to write about her life, and life itself, in a way that I find irresistible. I highly recommend this book to conscious readers who seek depth of understanding.

jeanner222 Feb 27, 2013

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.

December 2003 was a difficult month for writer Joan Didion. Her daughter, Quintana, fell ill with pneumonia, which led to septic shock and an induced coma. A few days later, Joan’s husband, John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack in their home.

TYOMT focuses on Didion’s attempt to come to terms with her husband’s death and her daughter’s illness. I’m not going to lie: this is one self-absorbed, whiney memoir. I cannot recommend this to anyone. Ever.

Jul 30, 2012

Engaging narrative.

May 22, 2012

It is the only title that this book could have. If you have ever gone through a death or divorce this book will show you that you are not alone. It is worth reading.

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Jan 28, 2014

We are imperfect mortal beings aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.

Jan 28, 2014

Marriage is memory, marriage is is also paradoxically the denial of time. For forty years I saw myself through John's eyes, I did not age.


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Feb 10, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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