The White Album

Joan Didion

Joan Didion’s hugely influential collection of essays which defines, for many, the America which rose from the ashes of the Sixties.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with the candy will lead the children into the sea.

In this now legendary journey into the hinterland of the American psyche, Didion searches for stories as the Sixties implode. She waits for Jim Morrison to show up, visits the Black Panthers in prison, parties with Janis Joplin and buys dresses with Charles Manson’s girls. She and her reader emerge, cauterized, from this devastating tour of that age of self discovery into the harsh light of the morning after.

Reviews of The White Album

    • ‘All the essays manifest not only her intelligence but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader’s memory, and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing, and exact. Add to this her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism.’NEW YORK TIMES
    • ‘Demonstrates an uncanny ability to capture the insidious and pervasive infections of mind and spirit that have led to both the corruption of government and business, and the withering of the individual.’CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
    • ‘Everything Didion writes has a land’s end edginess to it – a hyperattentive eye on the dramas found at the outskirts of the human condition. She writes as someone who has come through great shudders of the earth with a fundamental understanding that everything is subject to instantaneous and complete revision.’VILLAGE VOICE
    • ‘She is the best chronicler California has’VOGUE
    • ‘Simply an original and unexpected writer who is never banal’NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS