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This Author: Joan Didion
This Narrator: Barbara Caruso
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The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
5 Hrs. 30 Min.
User Rating
  4.5  Stars Based on 1 rating


In this intensely personal, deeply moving account—part memoir, part journalism—the author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem exposes the layers and facets of her life over a year of dramatic and unexpected events.

Life changes fast…. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” These were among the first words Joan Didion wrote in January 2004. Her daughter was lying unconscious in an intensive care unit, a victim of pneumonia and septic shock. Her husband, John Gregory Dunne, was dead. The night before New Year’s Eve, while they were sitting down to dinner, he suffered a massive and fatal coronary. The two had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

The weeks and months that followed “cut loose any fixed idea I had about death, about illness, about probability and luck…about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion explores with electric honesty and passion a private yet universal experience. Her portrait of a marriage—and a life, in good times and bad—will speak directly to anyone who has ever loved a husband, a wife, or a child.

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