Blue Nights From one of our most powerful writers a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband John Gregory Dunne and da

  • Title: Blue Nights
  • Author: Joan Didion
  • ISBN: 9780307267672
  • Page: 484
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old Blue Nights opens on July 26From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana s wedding in New York seven years before Today would be her wedding anniversary This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana s childhood in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept Blue Nights the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.

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    About "Joan Didion"

    1. Joan Didion

      Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City She s best known for her novels and her literary journalism Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work.

    598 thoughts on “Blue Nights”

    1. HO VISTO CON I MIEI OCCHI LE PORTE DELLA CATTEDRALE SBARRATE ALLE SEIMi sono innamorato di questa scrittrice, scoperta per caso, prendendo in mano un libro fresco di stampa con bei colori in copertina, Diglielo da parte mia Edizioni e o, il primo titolo della nuova collana Intramontabili.Quintana Roo, figlia adottiva della coppia di scrittori e sceneggiatori Dunne Didion morta a trentanove anni forse una rara forma di influenza aviaria Quello era un romanzo, questo un memoir Di lei ho letto pi d [...]


    2. I should preface this review by saying that I adore Joan Didion s writing There really is no one better at cataloguing the social chaos and energy that defines a specific shot of history than her I grew up in the California of the 1960s and 1970s, and if anyone asks me about those years, I point to her Like most of her readers, I read with such sadness about the death of her husband and daughter, and finished her book The Year of Magical Thinking with such profound respect she defined unfathomab [...]


    3. I wanted to like this book than I did I am very sorry poor Joan D s husband died, and then her only child is dead But, she writes this book in a confusing way, and I m not sure what to make of it Even the title phrase, which she tries to explain, is elusive to me I learned way about her life and her daughter in her prior book The Yr of Magical Thinking That topic was the sad and sudden death of her husband This book is about the sad and not sudden death of her daughter, who died less than two [...]


    4. A brief yet heart aching, poetic insight of grief relating the death of Didion s adult daughter Quintana It s in the blue nights that the questions, the grappling for answers plague us As Didion explains this Blue Nights the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning


    5. My first work by Didion, this is a follow up to The Year of Magical Thinking, where Didion wrote about the loss of her husband This concerns the loss of Didion s adopted daughter Quintana Roo in 2005 at 39 , not long after the death of her husband Whilst Didion does cover the adoption of her daughter and some of her earlier life, but she also goes on to relate the effects of aging and her reflections on them Didion has worked with words for a living and she is good with them Her ability to produ [...]


    6. In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue you pass a window, you walk to Central Park, you find yourself swimming in the color blue over the course of an hour or so this blue deepens, becomes intense even as it darkens and fades As I type this, I wonder if I d be so lucky as to come across a blue night tonight the tranquil sight of a sky so clear, yet so blue Deep blue And yet Blue Nigh [...]


    7. Well, it s probably blasphemy to say this, and I did give this book the highest possible rating, but some of Didion s stylistic methods the lists, the questions, the coy mingling of abstract and concrete, were showing here They felt like tricks rather than fluid means of transcending the personal and reaching the universal I actually got annoyed with the narrator when she couldn t seem to answer her own interminable questions when the answers seemed obvious to me Of course, if your mother has ch [...]


    8. well this was a huge disappointment i loved the year of magical thinking, didion s memoir about the unexpected sudden death of her husband, to which blue nights will inevitably be compared the most positive thing i can say about blue nights is that its length around 180 pages ginormous font make it a quick readis book is a mishmash memoir about the death of didion s adopted daughter quintana didion s inability to come to terms with her own aging the two topics don t mesh well the incomprehensibl [...]


    9. In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and rolling the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue Joan Didion, Blue NightsIt has been a decade since Joan Didion s daughter Quintana died Joan Didion was 75 when she wrote this book She wrote her first grief memoir The Year of Magical Thinking after her husband died in 2003 It dealt with her husband s death and her daughter s hospitalization Quintana would later die in 2005 from pancreatitis So, w [...]


    10. I had two contrary reactions while reading this book The first this is all just too private for publication Didion, a sad, frail woman, grieving for all her lost friends and especially for her husband and daughter, feels compelled to torment herself with a detailed analysis of all the occasions when she may have failed as a parent, all the occasions when she thinks that she missed what her daughter was trying to tell her Each photograph or memento which she describes becomes the occasion for ano [...]


    11. I wrote a review for this the computer ate it I haven t the heart to try to rewrite the whole thing Suffice to say that this book was not as sad as The Year of Magical Thinking although I expected it to be harder to bear To lose a husband is one thing, but to lose a child far, far worse Thinking about my son dying makes me literally sick to my stomach I expected to be cut to bits by this I wasn t, which is good for me but bad for the book The tiny intimate details that made Magical Thinking so d [...]


    12. In some waysBlue Nights , the grim companion piece to The Year of Magical Thinking, seems like the book Didion was put on earth to write why else the long career as unsentimental witness recounting what she s seen without affect or excess Here she turns her eye on the some of truest subjects of the human experience, the ones we avoid daily every way we can by spreading a fog of delusion around them age, sickness, loss, and death Didion writes with clarity and honesty about them all.In another wa [...]


    13. Would give it 3.5 stars if possible, or close to four Didion has been my favorite writer for than 20 years This book is totally her, served raw Only Joan Didion can get away with writing like Joan Didion Otherwise, large parts of this book would be strangely embarrassing I was struck many times by the lovely, forlorn quality of this book But just as often, I was puzzled by her ability to withhold information, given that she is so singularly hailed as someone a journalist, in a way who cuts thro [...]


    14. The first chapter I hated her, had not read her before , hated her celebrity name dropping, the Chanel suits, and what she named her daughter By the end I was bawling I m still not sure I like her In Blue Nights, she writes brusquely, bluntly without much metaphor, the repeatedly literal language is cloying and like an annoying OCD chant but then she adds another small piece of the puzzle I mean what is she getting at here you think and then builds on that in the same manner over and over persis [...]


    15. I went into this book prepared to have trouble with it It took me close to three years to get over my Mom s death I have not ever lost a child, despite two close calls I just did not feel ready to read a book about mourning I read it for a reading group.Instead, I fell in love with Joan Didion Here is a woman who has lived a long life, mostly in her mind She has achieved respect, a good income, some say notoriety, by the use of her intellect She had a long and happy marriage with a soul mate Now [...]


    16. I love how immediate Blue Nights feels As I read it, I felt Didion sitting beside me, sifting through her own thoughts and memories and trying to make some sense of her life, searching for answers to all of her many questions and ultimately, the question of life and death when we talk about mortality we are talking about our children Didion s gorgeous prose makes this a quick read, but the sheer intelligence and mental flexibility rewards a slower read Blue feels like Didion is giving us access [...]


    17. I don t want to review this Joan Didion knows exactly what the ding dang she s doing She s still Joan Didion, still somewhat distant and removed from her subject matter, able to describe it all clearly, sometimes SO clearly it seems like she just floated through it all, invisible I can t imagine her ever holding a baby, cooing it to sleep She s Joan Didion She s cool, she s California, she s wearing sunglasses, she s staring unsmiling into the camera But the memories of Quintana that she returns [...]


    18. I very much enjoyed Joan Didion s A Year of Magical Thinking when I read it a couple of years ago, but had strangely not sought out of her work in the intervening months I finally requested a copy of the markedly poignant Blue Nights from the library, and ended up reading it in one sitting.The blurb of Blue Nights describes the way in which Didion has used writing as a tool to try and make sense of a traumatic event in her life it is a work which displays a stunning frankness about losing a dau [...]


    19. I was reading Blue Nights rather casually, with some distance, hoping to be pulled in when I came to the page where the narrator considers Quintana her daughter s diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder Even Joan Didion, our most skeptical of narrators toward the psycho pharmo medical industrial complex notes that this odd diagnosis fit her perception of her daughter, if such things can be thought to fit She writes that diagnosis never seems to lead to a cure, only an enforced debility I lo [...]


    20. Blue Nights is a memoir by Joan Didion, written after Didion s daughter died of cancer at age 39 The book s main focus is Didion s relationship with her daughter, but it also addresses the author s own childhood and offers some very frank thoughts on old age and mortality in general.I thought this book was OK I picked it up because I ve heard so many great things about Didion s last book, The Year of Magical Thinking That book tackles similar themes, which led me to give this one a try There are [...]


    21. When we lose that sense of the possible we lose it fast This line, appearing towards the end of Joan Didion s account of her daughter Quintana s early death, Blue Nights, sums up much of the book Didion is describing the loss of youth, of illusions, of the people she loved, even the way she wrote Suddenly, everything in her life has become uncertain and fragile.In some ways, this book is a sad companion to Didion s brilliant book about the death of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and her experi [...]


    22. Quite sad, how events unfolded in Didion s twilight years There are several passages that are you so beautiful and elegiac There is a sense of floating and free think in her grief and what sorts of thoughts enter in the years after her adopted daughter s and husband s deaths.Ultimately, I felt Didion was not willing to to give the reader the benefit of the doubt, by trusting I found her mightily reserved herself in pride and defensiveness I would have appreciated raw honesty in her grief, inste [...]


    23. From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana s wedding in New York seven years before Today would be her wedding anniversary This f [...]


    24. Reread, because I m on a Didion binge It s as heartbreaking as I remember it to be, but I d forgotten that it s not without its moments of humor, either As in We had moved into that house in January 1971, on a perfectly clear day which turned so foggy that by the time I drove back to the house from a late day run to the Trancas Market, three and a half miles down the Pacific Coast Highway, I could no longer find the driveway Since sundown fogs in January and February and March turned out to be a [...]


    25. Blue Nights is Act Two of Joan Didion s personal tragedy And the second publication not previewed and edited by her late husband, writer author John Gregory Dunn Act One, The Year of Magical Thinking, published in 2005, recounts Dunn s unexpected death at the dinner table in 2003 Blue Nights, published in 2011, details the 2005 not so unxpected death of Didion s daughter, Quintana Roo, following an extended nightmare of physical and medical mayhem Both memoirs are searing expos s of loss and gri [...]


    26. Review coming5th in line Note to self Do not cast your eyes on or in another written object until one or item s from your backlog of procastination is crossed off Until then Blue Nights is a love letter from Joan Didion to her daughter Quintana Roo Her faults are laid bare I m sure there are many Faults have no meaning to love felt Children don t understand this with their unlived minds Such is life She lays her heart out, flayed Her grieving a language we can feel All over Inside It eats at y [...]


    27. The book begins as Didion thinks back to her daughter s wedding seven years earlier, which then triggers other memories of her childhood, of family moments, of people and places, numerous hotels they have frequented She reflects too on her role as a mother, something she hadn t wanted to be, until suddenly she did, pregnancy had been something to fear, then it became something she yearned for, though it was not to be She has difficulty understanding her daughter s fear of abandonment, knowing ho [...]


    28. Sentimental Yes Self indulgent Yes Frustrating to read Yes Impossible to like Yes But Blue Nights is not a book to be liked After all, how could you like a mother s mournful meditation over her daughter s untimely death Not that there is ever a death that is timely , but losing both your husband and your daughter in the short span of twenty months has to be considered particularly untimely Instead, Blue Nights is a book to be savored It s sentimental because it is personal It s self indulgent be [...]


    29. Just when I ve sworn off any loss memoirs after overindulging all fall but it s Joan Didion so this is going on the Christmas wishlistA No longer on the wishlist as I devoured it in two sittings No one is readable to me than Didion, even here where she is what More elusive, indulgent No More poetic Maybe.I wouldn t recommend this as an introduction to Didion I imagine it would be a frustrating read So much is going on here it is not a memoir, or a book about grief, but a meditation on loss, [...]


    30. In her magnificent 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion recounted the double blow of losing her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, and then 20 months later, losing their adopted daughter, Quintana Roo, to an unexplained illness The pain, anger, and sadness Didion felt radiated through every page of that book.Blue Nights, Didion s follow up, touches on many of the same themes of anger and loss, while focusing on Quintana s life and untimely death The book examines Quintana s a [...]


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