Joan Didion (b. 1934)

American novelist, essayist, and screenwriter. A native of California, Didion studied at the University of California at Berkeley. After winning Vogue magazine’s Prix de Paris contest for excellence in writing, she began working for the magazine, and left in 1963, the year her first novel, Run River, was published. Since then, she has written five more novels, most recently The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). The essays collected in Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1969) and The White Album (1979) captured the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, respectively, and put Didion in the forefront of American essayists. Her recent works of nonfiction include Fixed Ideas: America since 9.11 (2003) and The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), winner of the National Book Award. We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live (2006) collects her first seven volumes of nonfiction. See also