Why Didion Remains


We like to think of Joan Didion as glamorous, the sunglasses-wearing, VOGUE-working, New York loving-and-leaving writer that we all could have been if only life had turned out a little differently. We imagine her sitting down to edit with a cocktail at the end of the day (her actual practice), writing screenplays with her handsome husband, cooking large meals for famous family and friends. And all of this she did. But what we don’t want to think about as much is the Joan behind the image of Joan. We need to be careful not to confuse the image of Joan with the work of Joan; and still neither of those things are Joan herself.

On Joan Didion, a Kickstarter documentary, and why the essayist remains so compelling.

Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →