Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. New York. 1968. Farrar Straus Giroux. 238 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Lawrence Ratzkin.


slouching towards bethlehemFROM THE PUBLISHER - 



It is a commonplace among observers of the American literary scene that some of the most exciting writing these days is appearing in magazine articles and essays rather than in stories or novels. Aficionados are aware that some of the most remarkable of these pieces are being written by a young woman named Joan Didion. The author of a highly regarded. first novel, RUN RIVER, Miss Didion has been writing regularly over the past few years for Holiday, Vogue, The Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere, building a following just as Tom Wolfe did before the appearance of THE KANDY-KOLORED TANGERINE-FLAKE STREAMLINE BABY. In SLOUCHING TOWARDS BETHLEHEM, Miss Didion has brought together the best of her nonfiction writing, keynoted by her extraordinary report on life among the hippies of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. This essay, a brilliant evocation of the life style of the ‘flower generation,’ sets the tone of the book, both in its very personal confrontation between author and subject, and in its underlying theme. For most of the essays deal, in one way or another, with the atomization of modern life, the sense that ‘things fall apart, the center cannot hold,’ and with the new gods, the new ways of living that are replacing traditional ones. Also among the twenty essays in the book are ‘Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream,’ which has been described as telling ‘more about California today than could be uncovered by a task force of sociologists working for a year’; ‘Goodbye to All That,’ an account of the author’s encounter with the illusion and delusion that is New York; ‘John Wayne: A Love Song’; an anatomy of Hawaii called ‘Letter from Paradise, 210 19’ N., 1570 52’ W.’; ‘Los Angeles Notebook’; and ‘The Seacoast of Despair,’ about the mansions of Newport. Joan Didion writes throughout not just as a reporter of events and people, but also as a reporter of ‘how it feels to me.’ And her style is almost perfectly tuned to express both her feelings and her remarkably acute vision of the contemporary scene. CONTENTS: I. LIFE STYLES IN THE GOLDEN LAND - Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream; John Wayne: A Love Song; Where the Kissing Never Stops; Comrade Laski, C.P.U.S.A. (M.#NAME?.); 7000 Romaine, Los Angeles 38; California Dreaming; Marrying Absurd; Slouching Towards Bethlehem; II. PERSONALS - On Keeping a Notebook; On Self-Respect; I Can’t Get That Monster out of My Mind; On Morality; On Going Home; III. SEVEN PLACES OF THE MIND - Notes from a Native Daughter; Letter from Paradise, 21° 19’ N., 157° 52’ W; Rock of Ages; The Seacoast of Despair; Guaymas, Sonora; Los Angeles Notebook; Goodbye to All That.



Didion JoanJoan Didion (December 5, 1934 – December 23, 2021) was an American writer. Her career began in the 1950s after she won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. Her writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the 1960s and the Hollywood lifestyle. Her political writing often concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric. In 1991, she wrote the earliest mainstream media article to suggest the Central Park Five had been wrongfully convicted. In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for The Year of Magical Thinking. She later adapted the book into a play, which premiered on Broadway in 2007. In 2013, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne, in 2017.










Copyright © 2024 Zenosbooks. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.