South and West: From a Notebook

South and West: From a Notebook

From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks--writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer. Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles--and here is From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking two extended excerpts fr...

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Title:South and West: From a Notebook
Author:Joan Didion
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:1524732796
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:160 pages pages

South and West: From a Notebook Reviews

  • El
    Apr 09, 2018

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

  • Sarah
    Jun 19, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

    I first read Joan Didion when I was 19. I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style. This is her at her very best. ...

    not good. her superiority complex is evident. ...

    Brilliant - to a Fault I found my entry into the world of Joan Didion in this book - and was immediately bowled over by her insight, and the undeniable brilliance of her prose. It reminded me of the non-fiction of David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster and Other Essays - not on...

    Skip the Nathaniel Rich intro until after you've read the text (if you feel the need to read it at all). ...

    I thoroughly enjoyed Joan Didion's notebooks from her travels in the deep South in 1970. She started in New Orleans and wound her way through Biloxi, Oxford, Meridian, Tuscaloosa, Grenada and Greenville, all places I have visited in the last two years. She was traveling just after the ...

  • Laura
    Sep 16, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

  • Kevin
    Mar 08, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

    I first read Joan Didion when I was 19. I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style. This is her at her very best. ...

    not good. her superiority complex is evident. ...

    Brilliant - to a Fault I found my entry into the world of Joan Didion in this book - and was immediately bowled over by her insight, and the undeniable brilliance of her prose. It reminded me of the non-fiction of David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster and Other Essays - not on...

    Skip the Nathaniel Rich intro until after you've read the text (if you feel the need to read it at all). ...

  • Lauren
    May 14, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

  • Chris
    Apr 17, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

  • Trish
    Mar 12, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

  • Catherine Kraemer
    Oct 18, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

  • Julie Ehlers
    May 16, 2018

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

  • Kasa Cotugno
    May 29, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

  • Graham
    Mar 07, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

    I first read Joan Didion when I was 19. I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style. This is her at her very best. ...

    not good. her superiority complex is evident. ...

  • Dianne
    May 13, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

  • Sarah
    Jul 11, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

  • Ammar
    Mar 08, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

  • Ivonne Rovira
    Apr 01, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

  • Jonathan Maas
    Oct 13, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

    I first read Joan Didion when I was 19. I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style. This is her at her very best. ...

    not good. her superiority complex is evident. ...

    Brilliant - to a Fault I found my entry into the world of Joan Didion in this book - and was immediately bowled over by her insight, and the undeniable brilliance of her prose. It reminded me of the non-fiction of David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster and Other Essays - not on...

  • Dawn
    Mar 25, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

  • Bryant
    Mar 11, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

  • Vincent Scarpa
    Dec 21, 2016

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

  • Shirleen R
    Jun 25, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

  • Jo Dervan
    Jan 24, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

    I first read Joan Didion when I was 19. I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style. This is her at her very best. ...

    not good. her superiority complex is evident. ...

    Brilliant - to a Fault I found my entry into the world of Joan Didion in this book - and was immediately bowled over by her insight, and the undeniable brilliance of her prose. It reminded me of the non-fiction of David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster and Other Essays - not on...

    Skip the Nathaniel Rich intro until after you've read the text (if you feel the need to read it at all). ...

    I thoroughly enjoyed Joan Didion's notebooks from her travels in the deep South in 1970. She started in New Orleans and wound her way through Biloxi, Oxford, Meridian, Tuscaloosa, Grenada and Greenville, all places I have visited in the last two years. She was traveling just after the ...

    Joan DIdion is an author who makes a habit of researching future books by visiting the area where they will be set. She keeps notebooks with all her thoughts, observations, conversations and drafts of articles and essays. In 1970 she and her husband took a trip to the South to get a fe...

  • Cheryl
    May 01, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

  • Stephanie
    Sep 17, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

  • Annikky
    Jun 16, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

  • Michael Neiberg
    Apr 01, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...

    Brief, beautifully written, rife with gorgeously detailed descriptions of southern life and culture in 1970. I always enjoy Didion's writing, and this was no exception. ...

    In the 1970s, Joan Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took an extensive road trip from New Orleans to Greenville (presumably South Carolina, though it does not appear she specifies this), with stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A habitual keeper of notebooks and jou...

    Jesus, Didion can write. And observe. Made me sorry I didn't take notes while I was traveling down south a month ago. This is my kind of book. ...

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week: New Orleans' oppressive atmosphere stirs memories of childhood visits and an ex-lover - and stark comparisons between the South and Joan Didion's home in California. From the best-selling author of the award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking ...

    When your notebooks are full of writing that is better than almost everyone else's finished product... ...

    Embarassingly, this was my first Didion. As a result of finishing it, I want to read everything she's written. These are unfinished notes that I would in most cases just call "cashing in", but hers are very much worth reading - especially the first, longer piece about the South. Love h...

    I first read Joan Didion when I was 19. I stayed up all night trying to figure out her writing style. This is her at her very best. ...

  • Rachel León
    Jun 07, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

  • Michael
    Apr 04, 2018

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

  • Paul
    Mar 09, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

  • Rachel Dows
    Mar 08, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

  • Andrew Gallina
    Mar 13, 2017

    I love Joan Didion. On any given day, Play it as it Lays fights for a spot in my top three favorite novels of all time alongside Renata Adler's Pitch Dark, Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, and Joy Williams's State of Grace. I can make (have made) a convincing argument that the ope...

    Joan Didion?s notebook of her drive across Louisiana and Mississippi with her husband in the summer of 1970 is filled with glimpses and impressions of the blazing heat, canopies of kudzu, a sense of disintegration and insularity. Didion interviewed friends of friends and folks who kn...

    Joan offers the reader an intimate look at her writing process. Anyone who read Didion would be aware of her personal life, her upbringing, her essays and how she wrote about the loss of a husband and her daughter in her last two non fiction works. Here we are in the 70s in the Sou...

    As its subtitle implies, South and West is culled from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s. It consists of two essays: "California Notes" is a brief, slight piece that apparently became the basis for her book Where I Was From; "Notes on the South" is a much longer, more substantial...

    Think of this as a literary sketchbook, full of jotted down conversation scraps, impressions, memories and thoughts. Most of the book is Didion's reflections on the South circa 1970. The smaller portion of the book deals with California around the time of the Patty Hearst trial. I love...

    Nothing makes me want to write more than reading Joan Didion. ...

    How could I forget how perfectly Joan Didion could craft a sentence, capturing every nuance, every irony, even what was unsaid? Although the pieces in South and West never became published essays, the same quality remains. And I see why it is now that these notes for pieces that never ...

    I picked this one up because I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and needed a travel memoir. This one was short and it was written by Joan Didion, so it was an easy pick. I love the way Didion writes, but this book isn't very good. The tone is rather condescending and it's just...

    Counterintuitively, Didion's lucid prose and her book's impressionistic structure synergize exceptionally well, making for a hazy reading experience that almost obscures South and West's total lack of purpose or argument. ...

    I owe this book a longer review, because I struggled mightily with South and West (2017). Fourfalse starts it took me to finish a book of mere 126 pages? I'm not from "the South". I spent all of one year living in Nashville, Tennessee some 40 years after Joan Didion drove through c...

    "We sat out in back by the bayou and drank gin and tonics and when a light rain began to fall, a kind of mist, Walker never paid any mind but just kept talking, and walking up to the house to get fresh drinks. It was a thunderstorm, with odd light, and there were occasional water-skier...

    Setting: 1970 Deep South roadtrip - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Didion takes one month to travel the rural south to better understand "the west". She sees these two cardinal directions as linked in the American psyche, and forges that link more intricately in this piece. Three-q...

    My introduction to Joan Didion's writing, and probably not the best place to start. This is essentially a collection of notes she made almost entirely during a trip she made with her husband to the Southern U.S., followed by a couple of pages of notes on California. I liked the pro...

    Thanks to Joan Didion for deciding to have this published. A 40-year old notebook of observations about the American South written as she and her husband traveled there in the 1970's. ...

    Oh my. Today was a terrible, horrible, truly exceptionally bad day. So, of course, I went to the bookstore. I knew Joan Didion had released a new essay collection and I decided to treat myself to the hardcover instead of waiting for paperback. And boy was it worth it. The moment ...

    Joan Didion is possibly the best ethnographer in the United States. This book gives brilliant profiles, especially of the Deep South. It was written in 1970 but is amazingly prescient of the country after the 2016 presidential election. Her intuitions are dead on, and sometimes she gat...

    I picked "South and West" off the Lucky Day shelf at the local library for two reasons: It's by Joan Didion, whose cultural commentary I've always admired, and I needed to bulk up my lagging Reading Challenge score for the year. I can't recommend it to anyone other than a curiosity see...

    Stunning!! 'South and West' is a rather slim volume, but it is chock full of razor sharp insight, exquisite imagery, and of course Didion's signature crystalline prose! As always, Didion is at the top of her game, both as a reporter and storyteller. She is truly a literary genius!! ...