Play It As It Lays

(Fiction; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990; originally published
by FSG, 1970)

The enormous critical and commercial success of The Year of Magical Thinking, along with the recent publication of the nonfiction anthology We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, has solidified Joan Didion’s reputation as a writer readers love to read, no matter the subject. Over her long career she has written on a variety of topics, ranging from death and mourning to the American political landscape, travels in South America, and the upheaval of the 1960s. Didion’s reader is in the hands of a steely, cool observer, whose insights are gained through her ability to cut away the fat and get to the meat of a moment.

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