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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.
©2011 Joan Didion (P)2011 Random House
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Doggy Bird on 12-16-11

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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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By D. Littman on 11-08-11

terrific book

If you could sum up Blue Nights in three words, what would they be?

Didion makes you live in her skin

Who was your favorite character and why?

Joan Didion is the dominant character in the book. It is through her eyes that you see her daughter, her husband, parents and others of her circle. You feel as much as if you are in her skin as if it was a fictional tale with her being the fictional narrator.

What does Kimberly Farr bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

Didion is a great writer. I am sure the book would be excellent in print form. Farr is a very good narrator. I was so sorry that the book was over.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I think it was the repetition, including the repitition of Quintana's remembered questions of her adoptive mother,

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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