Joan Didion, the bestselling, award-winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking and Let Me Tell You What I Mean, has always kept notebooks—of overheard dialogue, interviews, drafts of essays, copies of articles. Here are two extended excerpts from notebooks she kept in the 1970s; read together, they form a piercing view of the American political and cultural landscape.
“Notes on the South” traces a road trip that she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Her acute observations about the small towns they pass through, her interviews with local figures, and their preoccupation with race, class, and heritage suggest a South largely unchanged today.
Paperback/ 272 pages