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.

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