Play It As It Lays

Joan Didion

A profoundly disturbing novel that ruthlessly dissects American life in the late 1960s, from the author of The White Album and The Year of Magical Thinking.

Benny called for a round of Cuba Libres and I gave him some chips to play for me and went to the ladies’ room and never came back.

Somewhere out beyond Hollywood, hollowed-out actress Maria Wyeth’s life plays out in a numbing routine of perpetual freeway driving. In her early thirties, divorced from her husband, dislocated from friends, anesthetized to pain and please, Wheth is a woman who has run out of both desires and motives – the epitome of a generation made ill by too much freedom.

Reviews of Play It As It Lays

    • ‘She writes with a razor … You are both frightened and astonished … It seems to me just about perfect, so heartbreaking and inescapable’ New York Times
    • ‘Didion’s modant lucidity is like L.A. sunlight, a thing so bright sometimes it hurts’ Time, Top 100 Novels of All Time
    • ‘For a few decades, this was my favourite modern American novel … revelatory’ Bret Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho