by Joan Didion
This is a stunning book. It is hard to imagine how difficult for Didion it was to write about the sudden death of her husband and the serious illness of her daughter, and the state of denial that these events pushed her into. That’s the magical thinking. She tried to convince herself that it hadn’t happened, wasn’t happening, by avoiding certain places that would force her to think of her husband or daughter and, perhaps, recognize why they weren’t present, or she would avoid disposing of John Dunne’s shoes because that would be acknowledging that he wasn’t coming back. He’d need his shoes when he came back, right? Didion is amazing. I hope writing the book was therapeutic for her.