Blue Nights

  • by Joan Didion
  • Narrated by Kimberly Farr
  • 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed, either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


What disappointed you about Blue Nights?

The extreme emphasis on celebrity name-dropping, place name-dropping, and privilege. It seems the real story is short and sad, and that the stage-setting and background was about the wealthy environment Quintana had grown up in. It felt shallow.

Has Blue Nights turned you off from other books in this genre?

I will review my choices more carefully.

Have you listened to any of Kimberly Farr???s other performances before? How does this one compare?


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?

I came to this book with high expectations because I enjoyed A Year of Magical Thinking. I have read and enjoyed almost everything else that Joan Didion has written, and will try to not let this experience influence future choices.

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- Avid Reader

Extremely moving memoir, well-narrated

I was so moved by this very beautiful memoir. The author tells the story of the loss of her beloved daughter with great intensity and lyrical beauty without an ounce of pity or sentimentality. It has music, rhythm and beautiful images to connect thoughts and emotions directly to the reader and to her experience of loss. This is a profound story of loss and of aging that memorializes the beloved child while connecting to the fading of her own life. I can only say that this book reached directly into my heart and soul and hit me in all of my senses. The author expresses thoughts and feelings with so much power and grace. The reader is excellent and reads with a speed and pace that matches the text and understands its rhythms. Highly recommended.
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- Doggy Bird "Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-01-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio