“What she has written instead is a kind of biography of Joan Didion, and an elusive one at that. Like her novels, it’s more a work of accumulation than of argument, at the end of which Quintana the grown-up remains the enigma Didion must want her to be, while Didion is the woman revealed. All of her fears are in it, and so is the central contradiction in all of her work, laid bare: the fear of not knowing overlaid with the terror of knowing.”
This NY Magazine essay features Blue Nights, Joan Didion’s new memoir centered on the author’s relationship with her late daughter. The piece explores the dynamics of Didion’s own family and family as the “secret heart” of her broader body of work.