Sunday, November 25, 2007

85. "Play It as It Lays" - Joan Didion

Maria Wyeth grew up halfway between California and Las Vegas, this no-man's land where she remains, at least mentally.

Written in mostly short bursts (1-4 page chapters), the reader understands the heartbreak of Wyeth, as well as the definitions of her generation - drugs, alcohol, self-indulgence in thinking. Though she could be successful as an actress, she is wasting away under a heavy load of thoughts - a mentally disturbed daughter, an aborted fetus, strange romantic rectangles.

The restraint of these short chapters, as well as Didion's language choices, are impeccably original. A fascinating peek at a different time, and a lovely start of an icon's writing career.

4.0 out of 5.0 Broken Down Golf Carts.


Joy said...

Sounds interesting, Kristin. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

MindFul MiMi said...

Hi Kristin,
I read Didion's 'A year of magical thinking' about her year after the death of her husband. I found her writing to be very engaging and it pulled me in. So I will give this a try.