Author(s): Joan Didion
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, from the author of The Last Thing He Wanted and A Book of Common Prayer. Somewhere out beyond Hollywood, resting actress Maria Wyeth drifts along the freeway in perpetual motion, anaesthetized to pain and pleasure, seemingly untainted by her personal history. She finds herself, in her early thirties, radically divorced from husband, lovers, friends, her own past and her own future. Play It As It Lays is set in a place beyond good and evil, literally in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and the barren wastes of the Mojave, but figuratively in the landscape of the arid soul. Capturing the mood of an entire generation, Didion chose Hollywood to serve as her microcosm of contemporary society and exposed a culture characterized by emptiness and ennui. Two decades after its original publication, it remains a profoundly disturbing novel, an immaculately wrought portrait of a world (California on the cusp of the 70s) where too much freedom made a lot of people ill.
'She writes with a razor.' New York Times 'A pioneer of New Journalism, she brilliantly chronicled America's cultural and political life.' Guardian 'Didion's mordant lucidity is like L.A. sunlight, a thing so bright sometimes it hurts.' Time PRAISE FOR THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING 'Her poetic writing has a spell-like charm that is profoundly affecting.' Observer 'this brave book maps a year!when the world flipped over to expose the underside of cool where things go bad.' The Times 'The subject may be bleak, but her tender treatment makes it a book that we should all read.' Daily Mail
Joan Didion is one of America's most respected writers, her work constituting some of the greatest portraits of modern-day American culture. Over the four decades of her career, she has produced widely-acclaimed journalistic essays, personal essays, novels, non-fiction, memoir and screenplays. Her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award in 2005.