Joan Didion at home, 1977. Photograph courtesy of Everett/REX/Shutterstock.
To say Joan Didion is a literary legend would be the truth, but not the whole story. She is an icon. A writer and author who will go down in history as one of the greatest voices of our generation. She has inspired designers — starring at 80-years-old in Céline’s spring 2015 campaign
— as well as documentary filmmakers. In 2017, Didion was the subject of the documentary The Center Will Not Hold
, in which we learn that she likes to put her manuscripts in the freezer to let them settle. Or that she used to start her workday with a can of Coca-Cola and a tin of salted almonds. These quirks — in addition to her deadpan wit — are part of what make Didion so endearing.
Didion’s latest book, Let Me Tell You What I Mean, turns back the clock with 12 early essays dating from 1968 to 2000. Organized chronologically, the pieces explore an array of different topics: college rejection — even Joan Didion has experienced this — Martha Stewart, national politics… Didion is both facetious and sincere; detached and present. And she always leaves us wanting for more.