(US, 1934– )
Born in California, Didion worked as an editor of and contributor to prestige magazines such as Vogue and Esquire before turning to fiction. Set in the glitzy, shallow world of Hollywood, Play It as It Lays (1971) is a lacerating examination of a woman's sense of herself, and of her own worth, in a rootless, fractured society. Didion's prose is taut and spare and keen as a scalpel, her insights into character just as incisive. A Book of Common Prayer (1977) tells the story of Charlotte Douglas, a naïve young woman seeking a new life in Central America, while Democracy (1984) traces the emotional seismograph of a passionate affair. As highly regarded for her journalism as for her fiction, Didion's collections of essays Miami (1987) and The White Album (1979) are penetrating dissections of the contemporary American scene.
Tom Wolfe, Dorothy Parker, Nathanael West TH