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The Author Speaks: Writing to Live

Joan Didion, bestselling author of The Year of Magical Thinking turned personal tragedy into a powerful tale of heart-wrenching grief—and the strength to go on.

"I’ve been around people who’ve had psychotic breaks, but I hadn’t imagined that someone who didn’t appear to be raving mad could be so crazy,” admits Joan Didion. Reeling from the sudden death of her husband, novelist John Gregory Dunne, and the life-threatening illness of her only daughter, the literary lioness canonized for her cool, gimlet-eyed view of the world discovered she’d gone temporarily “crazy” from grief. Writing her heart-rending memoir of loss and mourning, The Year of Magical Thinking (Knopf, 2005), was her road back to sanity. … Back to Article

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