Know Your History – 5th December – Joan Didion born

know your history - writing“On this day… 5th December, 1934 – Joan Didion born

Joan Didion (born December 5, 1934) is an American author 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.

On Writing

I came across a really interesting article by Joan Didion titled Why I write. Here is a few excerpts I found interesting.

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Why did the oil refineries around Carquinez Straits seem sinister to me in the summer of 1956? Why have the night lights in the bevatron burned in my mind for twenty years? What is going on in these pictures in my mind?” Joan Didion - stories

“All I know about grammar is its infinite power. To shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed.”

Did You Know?

Didion Originally Wanted To Be An Actress

“I originally wanted to be an actress,” Didion said. “I didn’t realize then that it’s the same impulse [as writing]. It’s make-believe … The only difference being that a writer can do it all alone.”


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