Joan Didion

  • Pour tout vous dire

    Joan Didion

    • Grasset
    • 19 January 2022

    La presse, la politique, la Californie, les femmes  : on retrouve déjà dans ce recueil rassemblant des chroniques rédigées entre 1968 et 2000, ceux qui deviendront les thèmes de prédilection de l'icône des lettres américaines. Qu'elle raconte ses débuts au magazine Vogue, une réunion des Joueurs Anonymes, qu'elle analyse la presse locale underground ou qu'elle s'interroge sur les publications posthumes des écrivains, c'est finalement toujours l'Amérique qu'elle scrute, dans toutes ses vérités et ses contradictions.
    Publiés en français pour la première fois, ces textes semblent répondre à une même question  : «  pourquoi écrire  ?  ». Elle y évoque le style, la sincérité de l'écriture à la première personne, la genèse de ses trois premiers romans et le parcours qui l'a conduite à devenir l'écrivaine que nous connaissons aujourd'hui et qui continue d'inspirer des générations d'auteurs. Joan Didion n'a de cesse de nous faire rire et de nous surprendre par la finesse de sa réflexion, toujours portée par une liberté de ton, un style incisif et empathique, ainsi que le sens de la formule. L'acuité du regard de cette figure mythique de la littérature américaine brille ici dans toute sa modernité et sa puissance visionnaire.

  • Mauvais joueurs

    Joan Didion

    • Grasset
    • 17 October 2018

    Maria, actrice hollywoodienne de 36 ans, essaie de se reconstruire après une dépression nerveuse aiguë. Mauvais joueurs, en 84 courts chapitres, nous raconte son histoire, et celle de son milieu, de ses amis et de son ex-mari, réalisateur de films d'avant-garde.
    Après une enfance difficile dans le Nevada, entre un père joueur compulsif et une mère peu aimante, Maria déménage à New York et débute une carrière de mannequin. Sa mère se tue dans un accident de voiture, peut-être un suicide déguisé. Maria est fragile, se fait manipuler par les hommes, puis rencontre Carter Lang qu'elle suit à Hollywood. Ensemble, ils vont tourner deux films et avoir une petite fille, Kate. Cette dernière souffre de troubles mentaux et doit être placée dans un institut pour enfants handicapés. Maria navigue alors entre une carrière qui s'étiole déjà, sa tendance autodestructrice et son besoin d'être aimée, sans trouver d'issue. L'alcool et les psychotropes, ainsi que de longues errances en voiture et des aventures sans lendemain constituent son quotidien. Son seul espoir reste de retrouver un jour sa fille et de la guérir.
    Écrit dans une langue très visuelle, Mauvais joueurs propose le portrait poignant d'une jeune femme à la dérive et celui de tout un milieu, entre glamour cinématographique et misère intime.
    Traduit de l'anglais (États-Unis) par Jean Rosenthal

  • Sud & ouest

    Joan Didion

    • Grasset
    • 17 October 2018

    Deux carnets conservés par Joan Didion depuis les années 1970 sont aujourd'hui rassemblés en un seul volume.
    Il s'agit tout d'abord d'un carnet de voyage  : en juin 1970 Joan Didion et son mari ont sillonné le Sud des États-Unis  (la Louisiane, le Mississippi, l'Alabama), et en de courts chapitres non datés Joan Didion livre ses observations sur les lieux, les paysages ou les gens rencontrés.
    Le projet du voyage et son miroir littéraire découlent de la volonté de comprendre ce «  Sud profond  », pour la Californienne qu'est Joan Didion - et à travers le Sud, l'Amérique tout entière. Le Sud comme une terre tournée vers le passé - alors que la Californie est tournée vers l'avenir - et comme un pays aux certitudes inébranlables  : chacun doit rester à sa place, les femmes, les Noirs, les pauvres, les étrangers. Joan Didion absorbe, commente, questionne, et se moque parfois. La plume est acérée, rapporte des conversations avec divers personnages, des entrepreneurs, des médecins, des esthéticiennes et note à quel point son apparence, ses vêtements et son attitude générale inspirent la méfiance. Elle décrit une société qui vit sur les vestiges d'un système féodal construit par les planteurs de coton.
     
    Le deuxième carnet, daté de 1976, est constitué des notes prises par Didion quand elle s'est installée dans un hôtel à San Francisco pour couvrir le procès de Patty Hearst. L'auteure revient sur la figure de sa grand-mère, ses lectures, et sur son appartenance à cette Californie depuis qu'elle a traversé pour la première fois le Golden Gate Bridge.
     
    Les deux textes nous permettent de mieux comprendre l'Amérique de ces années-là, et de ce fait, l'Amérique de Trump, dans ce court livre brillant où l'acuité du regard de Didion fait toujours mouche.
    Traduit de l'anglais (États-Unis) par Valérie Malfoy

  • Un livre de raison

    Joan Didion

    • Grasset
    • 1 March 2017

    Grace se donne pour mission de témoigner de l'histoire de Charlotte. Les deux femmes sont américaines, leurs chemins se croisent dans une petite république d'Amérique Centrale où Grace vit depuis des années. Quand Charlotte s'y installe pour essayer de retrouver sa fille Marine, elle ne soupçonne pas que son destin va se jouer dans ce pays rongé par la violence et la corruption. Grace - placée au coeur de la classe dirigeante de l'État par son mariage - essaie de l'aider. Elle est scientifique, se veut rationnelle. Elle est pourtant incapable de comprendre les passions de Charlotte, une femme qui engage sa vie sans concessions, jusqu'à se perdre.
    Roman d'une tragédie à la fois intime et politique, Un livre de raison impressionne toujours, quarante ans après sa première publication, par son écriture laconique et par l'acuité du regard de Joan Didion.

  • Le bleu de la nuit

    Joan Didion

    • Grasset
    • 9 January 2013

    Après avoir érigé un inoubliable tombeau littéraire à l'homme de sa vie (L'Année de la pensée magique), Joan Didion adresse, dans Le Bleu de la nuit, un vibrant hommage funèbre à leur fille, décédée quelques semaines à peine avant la parution de la Pensée magique aux Etats-Unis. Mais qu'on ne se méprenne pas : loin d'être une « suite » de la Pensée magique, ce récit serait plutôt son image en miroir, une variation inversée. On y retrouve, intactes, la puissance et la singularité de l'écriture de Didion : sèche, précise, lumineuse face à la nuit. Dans un puzzle de réminiscences et de réflexions (sur la mort, bien sûr, mais aussi sur les mystères de la maternité, de l'enfance, de la maladie, de la vieillesse, de la création...), l'auteur mène un combat acharné contre les fantômes de la mélancolie, des doutes et des regrets. Poignante sans jamais verser dans le pathétique, d'une impitoyable honnêteté envers elle-même sans jamais céder aux sirènes de la complaisance ou de l'impudeur, elle affirme une fois de plus, au crépuscule de son existence, sa foi dans les forces de l'esprit et de la littérature.

  • Une saison de nuits

    Joan Didion

    • Grasset
    • 12 March 2014

    Près d'un demi-siècle avant L'Année de la pensée magique, une jeune femme faisait ses débuts sur la scène littéraire américaine. Joan Didion n'a pas trente ans lorsque paraît en 1963 Run River, premier roman et premier jalon d'une oeuvre immense à venir, dont il annonce déjà, à bien des égards, les thèmes, la couleur et l'écriture si particulière. À première vue, c'est une histoire presque banale : Everett McClellan tue l'amant de sa femme, Lily. Aux mains de n'importe quel écrivain, on aurait affaire, au choix, à une bluette sentimentale ou à un roman policier des plus ordinaires. Mais l'auteur du Bleu de la nuit n'est pas n'importe qui ; chez elle, cette trame domestique et dramatique sert un propos ô combien plus ambitieux. Derrière l'analyse des tromperies et des faux-semblants de la vie de couple, il s'agit pour elle de démonter méthodiquement les ressorts et les conséquences d'un assassinat d'une tout autre nature : celui des illusions qu'une certaine Amérique aura nourries pendant plusieurs décennies, depuis l'époque des grands pionniers californiens dont Everett et Lily sont les ultimes descendants, jusqu'à l'aube des années 1960, qui sous la plume acérée et visionnaire de Didion s'apparente plutôt à un crépuscule : la fin du Rêve Américain.

  • Anglais Where I Was From

    Joan Didion

    • Harper collins digital
    • 24 June 2010


    A memoir of land, family and perseverance from one of the most influential writers in America.

  • Anglais Blue Nights

    Joan Didion

    • Harper collins digital
    • 4 November 2011


    From one of America's greatest and most iconic writers: an honest and courageous portrait of age and motherhood.
    Several days before Christmas 2003, Joan Didion's only daughter, Quintana, fell seriously ill. In 2010, Didion marked the sixth anniversary of her daughter's death. 'Blue Nights' is a shatteringly honest examination of Joan Didion's life as a mother, a woman and a writer.
    Recently widowed, and becoming increasingly frail, 'Blue Nights' is Didion's attempt to understand our deepest fears, our inadequate adjustments to ageing and to put a name to what we refuse to see and as a consequence fail to face up to, 'this refusal even to engage in such contemplation, this failure to confront the certainties of ageing, illness and death. This fear.' This fear is tied to what we cherish most and fight to conserve, protect, and refuse to let go, for, 'when we are talking about mortality we are talking about our children.' To face death is to let go of memory, to be bereft once more, 'I know what it is I am now experiencing. I know what the frailty is, I know what the fear is.'
    The fear is not for what is lost.
    The fear is for what is still to be lost.
    You may see nothing still to be lost.
    Yet there is no day in her life on which I do not see her.
    A profound, poetic and powerful book about motherhood and the fierce way in which we continue to exalt and nurture our children, even if they only live on in memory.
    'Blue Nights' is an intensely personal, and yet, strangely universal account of how we love. It is both groundbreaking and a culmination of a stunning career.

  • Anglais Blue Nights

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 1 November 2011

    A New York Times Notable Book and National BestsellerFrom one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter.Richly textured with memories from her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion is an intensely personal and moving account of her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness and growing old.As she reflects on her daughter’s life and on her role as a parent, Didion grapples with the candid questions that all parents face, and contemplates her age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept. Blue Nights--the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”--like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profound.
    "Incantory....A beautiful condolance note to humanity about some of the painful realities of the human condition." --The Washington Post

  • Anglais The Year of Magical Thinking

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 13 February 2007

    From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
    Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later–the night before New Year’s Eve–the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.
    This powerful book is Didion’ s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”

  • Anglais Run River

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 23 February 2011

    Joan Didion's electrifying first novel is a haunting portrait of a marriage whose wrong turns and betrayals are at once absolutely idiosyncratic and a razor-sharp commentary on the history of California. Everett McClellan and his wife, Lily, are the great-grandchildren of pioneers, and what happens to them is a tragic epilogue to the pioneer experience, a story of murder and betrayal that only Didion could tell with such nuance, sympathy, and suspense.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais A Book of Common Prayer

    Joan Didion

    • Harper collins digital
    • 17 November 2011


    An engrossing novel about political and personal life in Central America, from the award-winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking.
    Set in the ruined Central American nation of Boca Grande, A Book of Common Prayer is the story of two American women and their conflicting experiences of wealth, politics and personal history. We follow the intriguing life of Grace Strasser-Mendana - an American expatriate and member of one of Boca Grande's most influential families - alongside the story of Charlotte Douglas, whose daughter Medin has run off with a group of Marxist radicals. What follows is an exploration of the women's ability to make sense of the behaviour that surrounds them, as their worlds are made hazy by the atmosphere of evil and innocence that envelops their strained and entangled lives.

  • Anglais The Year of Magical Thinking: The Play

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 2 April 2009

    "this happened on December 30, 2003. That may seem a while ago but it won't when it happens to you . . ."
    In this dramatic adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir (which Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times called "an indelible portrait of loss and grief . . . a haunting portrait of a four-decade-long marriage), Joan Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful one-woman play.
    The first theatrical production of The Year of Magical Thinking opened at the Booth Theatre on March 29, 2007, starring Vanessa Redgrave and directed by David Hare.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais The Last Thing He Wanted

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 16 February 2011

    This intricate, fast-paced story, whose many scenes and details fit together like so many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, is Didion's incisive and chilling look at a modern world where things are not working as they should and where the oblique and official language is as sinister as the events it is covering up.
    The narrator introduces Elena McMahon, estranged from a life of celebrity fundraisers and from her powerful West Coast husband, Wynn Janklow, whom she has left, taking Catherine, her daughter, to become a reporter for The Washington Post. Suddenly walking off the 1984 campaign, she finds herself boarding a plane for Florida to see her father, Dick McMahon. She becomes embroiled in her Dick's business though "she had trained herself since childhood not to have any interest in what he was doing." It is from this moment that she is caught up in something much larger than she could have imagined, something that includes Ambassador-at-Large Treat Austin Morrison and Alexander Brokaw, the ambassador to an unnamed Caribbean island.
    Into this startling vision of conspiracies, arms dealing, and assassinations, Didion makes connections among Dallas, Iran-Contra, and Castro, and points up how "spectral companies with high-concept names tended to interlock." As this book builds to its terrifying finish, we see the underpinnings of a dark historical underbelly. This is our system, the one "trying to create a context for democracy and getting [its] hands a little dirty in the process."
    From the Hardcover edition.

  • Anglais Salvador

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 5 January 2011

    "Terror is the given of the place." The place is El Salvador in 1982, at the ghastly height of its civil war. The writer is Joan Didion, who delivers an anatomy of that country's particular brand of terror-its mechanisms, rationales, and intimate relation to United States foreign policy.As ash travels from battlefields to body dumps, interviews a puppet president, and considers the distinctly Salvadoran grammar of the verb "to disappear," Didion gives us a book that is germane to any country in which bloodshed has become a standard tool of politics.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais Political Fictions

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 9 October 2001

    National Bestseller
    In these coolly observant essays, Joan Didion looks at the American political process and at "that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life." Through the deconstruction of the sound bites and photo ops of three presidential campaigns, one presidential impeachment, and an unforgettable sex scandal, Didion reveals the mechanics of American politics. She tells us the uncomfortable truth about the way we vote, the candidates we vote for, and the people who tell us to vote for them. These pieces build, one on the other, into a disturbing portrait of the American political landscape, providing essential reading on our democracy.
    "One of our most cherished and insightful explicators of American culture...brings her perspective to the ultimate insider world." --San Francisco Chronicle
    Winner of the George Polk Book Award

  • Anglais Vintage Didion

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 24 February 2010

    Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions.
    "Didion has the instincts of an exceptional reporter and the focus of a historian . . . a novelist's appreciation of the surreal." --Los Angeles Times Book Review
    Whether she's writing about civil war in Central America, political scurrility in Washington, or the tightl -braided myths and realities of her native California, Joan Didion expresses an unblinking vision of the truth.
    Vintage Didion includes three chapters from Miami; an excerpt from Salvador; and three separate essays from After Henry that cover topics from Ronald Reagan to the Central Park jogger case. Also included is "Clinton Agonistes" from Political Fictions, and "Fixed Opinions, or the Hinge of History," a scathing analysis of the ongoing war on terror.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais A Book of Common Prayer

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 23 February 2011

    Writing with the telegraphic swiftness and microscopic sensitivity that have made her one of our most distinguished journalists, Joan Didion creates a shimmering novel of innocence and evil.A Book of Common Prayer is the story of two American women in the derelict Central American nation of Boca Grande. Grace Strasser-Mendana controls much of the country's wealth and knows virtually all of its secrets; Charlotte Douglas knows far too little. "Immaculate of history, innocent of politics," she has come to Boca Grande vaguely and vainly hoping to be reunited with her fugitive daughter. As imagined by Didion, her fate is at once utterly particular and fearfully emblematic of an age of conscienceless authority and unfathomable violence.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais Where I Was From

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 26 January 2011

    In this moving and unexpected book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history, and ours. Where I Was From, in Didion's words, "represents an exploration into my own confusions about the place and the way in which I grew up, confusions as much about America as about California, misapprehensions and misunderstandings so much a part of who I became that I can still to this day confront them only obliquely." The book is a haunting narrative of how her own family moved west with the frontier from the birth of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother in Virginia in 1766 to the death of her mother on the edge of the Pacific in 2001; of how the wagon-train stories of hardship and abandonment and endurance created a culture in which survival would seem the sole virtue.
    In Where I Was From, Didion turns what John Leonard has called "her sonar ear, her radar eye" onto her own work, as well as that of such California writers as Frank Norris and Jack London and Henry George, to examine how the folly and recklessness in the very grain of the California settlement led to the California we know today-a state mortgaged first to the railroad, then to the aerospace industry, and overwhelmingly to the federal government, a dependent colony of those political and corporate owners who fly in for the annual encampment of the
    Bohemian Club. Here is the one writer we always want to read on California showing us the startling contradictions in its-and in America's-core values.
    Joan Didion's unerring sense of America and its spirit, her acute interpretation of its institutions and literature, and her incisive questioning of the stories it tells itself make this fiercely intelligent book a provocative and important tour de force from one of our greatest writers.
    From the Hardcover edition.

  • Anglais Insider Baseball

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 4 October 2016

    A Vintage Shorts Selection
    Almost three decades ago, iconic and incomparable American essayist Joan Didion’s now-classic report from the Dukakis campaign trail exposed, in no uncertain terms, the complete sham that is the modern American presidential run.
    Writing with bite and some humor too, Didion betrays “the process”--the way in which power is exchanged and the status quo is maintained. All insiders--politicians, journalists, spin doctors--participate in a political narrative that is “designed as it is to maintain the illusion of consensus by obscuring rather than addressing actual issues.” The optics of presidential campaigns have grown ever more farcical and remote from the needs and issues most relevant to Americans’ lives, and Didion’s elegant, shrewd, and prescient commentary has never been more urgent than it is right now.
    An ebook short.

  • Anglais South and West

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 7 March 2017

    From the best-selling author of the National Book Award-winning The Year of Magical Thinking: two extended excerpts from her never-before-seen notebooks--writings that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary writer.
    Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. She writes about the stifling heat, the almost viscous pace of life, the sulfurous light, and the preoccupation with race, class, and heritage she finds in the small towns they pass through. And from a different notebook: the "California Notes" that began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here, too, is the beginning of her thinking about the West, its landscape, the western women who were heroic for her, and her own lineage, all of which would appear later in her acclaimed 2003 book, Where I Was From.
    One of TIME’s most anticipated books of 2017
    One of The New York Times Book Review's “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017”
    Incldued among the Best Books of March 2017 by both LitHub and Signature

  • Anglais Let Me Tell You What I Mean

    Joan Didion

    • Knopf doubleday publishing group digital
    • 26 January 2021
  • Anglais The Year of Magical Thinking

    Joan Didion

    • Harper collins digital
    • 20 February 2009


    From one of America's iconic writers, a portrait of a marriage and a life - in good times and bad - that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. A stunning book of electric honesty and passion.
    Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later - the night before New Year's Eve -the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of 40 years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LA airport, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Centre to relieve a massive hematoma.
    This powerful book is Didion's 'attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness ... about marriage and children and memory ... about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself'. The result is an exploration of an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad.

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