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Blue Nights by Joan Didion

Blue Nights (edition 2012)

by Joan Didion

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1,0715411,872 (3.67)70
Title:Blue Nights
Authors:Joan Didion
Info:Vintage (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

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Blue Nights by Joan Didion



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A sad yet not self pitying look at fragility, aging, and loss. ( )
  dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
Wow. Beautifully written, very thoughtful, a stronger work (in my opinion) than Didion's much-lauded The Year of Magical Thinking. Very sad, of course, or maybe melancholy rather than sad, but I thought it was absolutely exquisite. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Writing can be beautiful: Joan Didion is living proof of this. I've been reading Didion since the early 80' when a friend of mine gave me a copy of Slouching Toward Bethlehem; that too is a gorgeous book. I'd read Didion's A Year of Magical Thinking last year so the back story of Blue Nights was fresh in my kind. In Blue Nights Didion tackles what it means to be a mother; an aging woman; a mother who survives the death of her only child; the last one standing in a family of people ... and she does it as only she could. Now 84, and increasingly frail herself, Didion looks aging in the eye, unafraid as always to stare down the inevitable. She writes about normal daily life as it vanishes, stolen from each of us by time. She writes of growing frail, losing confidence in her body and in her mind, of becoming thin and frail to the point of being invisible to others; others who can be counted on to look away, not wishing to see the inevitable. She bounces between her own declining sense of self and her memories of a daughter who often wished to die early .. and eventually did. The sadness in this book is thick and cold, like a morning fog. I liked it. ( )
1 vote Daisy_Pettles | May 22, 2018 |
I made the mistake of really delving into this on the day my boyfriend left for a week-long business trip. Okay, so you can't really compare that to losing your spouse and child within a year's time, but it helped bring home the idea of loneliness and vulnerability Didion expresses so...I can't come up with an adequate enough adjective here. I've never actually read any of her fiction, but I love the power she has with words. Beautiful. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
That was an interesting read. Didion remembers her daughter. It begins with her wedding, because the pictures of the clothes have impressed her. In between, she tells of saying goodbye in the hospital when her daughter died. She talks about the bondage of the two women and how her daughter repeatedly claimed that she must be the strong and her mother needed her. This becomes clear in the course of reading, because Ddion slowly loses her memory and steers towards dementia.
The story is told with love and humor. ( )
  Ameise1 | Feb 10, 2018 |
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In certain latitudes there comes a span of time approaching and following the summer solstice, some weeks in all, when the twilights turn long and blue.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307267679, Hardcover)

From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:20 -0400)

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Shares the author's frank observations about her daughter as well as her own thoughts and fears about having children and growing old, in a personal account that discusses her daughter's wedding and her feelings of failure as a parent.

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