Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Year of Magical Thinking

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The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2005, 240 pages
    Feb 2007, 214 pages

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Beyond the Book

Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California in 1934, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1956. She is the author of five novels and eight books of non-fiction. Her 1968 collection of essays, Slouching Toward Bethlehem and her book, The White Album (1979), made her famous as an observer of American politics and culture with a distinctive style that mixed personal reflection with social analysis. In 2001 she published Political Fictions which targeted political conservatives with pieces aimed at Newt Gingrich and the Religious Right. This was a radical shift from her earlier writing which had ridiculed various aspects of liberalism. She attributed her shift in opinion to the Republican Party's own shift away from the values of an earlier generation; specifically the values espoused by Barry Goldwater, a five-term Senator from Arizona, and the Republican Presidential candidate in 1964 (losing to Lyndon B Johnson). Goldwater was a ...

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