Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) (Paperback)
Read everything by Joan Didion, but start here. I am obsessed with this book of essays. I return to it nearly every year to regain a sense of the first time I read it—of the world opening up through a writer who is in absolute control of her craft. Then read its companion collection, The White Album, which is equally dazzling.— From Katie
The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, decades after its first publication, the essential portrait of America--particularly California--in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.
About the Author
Joan Didion's many books include The Year of Magical Thinking, for which she received the National Book Award. She lives in New York City.
"In her portraits of people, Didion is not out to expose but to understand, and she shows us actors and millionaires, doomed brides and naive acid-trippers, left wing ideologues and snobs of the Hawaiian aristocracy in a way that makes them neither villainous nor glamorous, but alive and botched and often mournfully beautiful . . . A rich display of some of the best prose written today in this country."--Dan Wakefield, The New York Times Book Review