Let Me Tell You What I Mean Pdf Summary
From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion’s subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt.
Here are six pieces written in 1968 from the “Points West” Saturday Evening Post column Joan Didion shared from 1964 to 1969 with her husband, John Gregory Dunne about: American newspapers; a session with Gamblers Anonymous; a visit to San Simeon; being rejected by Stanford; dropping in on Nancy Reagan, wife of the then-governor of California, while a TV crew filmed her at home; and an evening at the annual reunion of WWII veterans from the 101st Airborne Association at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas. Here too is a 1976 piece from the New York Times magazine on “Why I Write”; a piece about short stories from New West in 1978; and from The New Yorker, a piece on Hemingway from 1998, and on Martha Stewart from 2000. Each one is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.
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Let Me Tell You What I Mean Review
5.0 out of 5 stars What Rough Beast
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 28, 2021
This is a group of previously uncollected essays from the great Joan Didion, the author of Slouching Toward Bethlehem, The White Album and The Year of Magical Thinking. Didion always seemed to me to be the writer Vogue should send to cover the Apocalypse. Clear, cool and with an eye for the telling detail.
Often times books of this nature, published late in an author’s career, are a last grasp to cash in on the author’s reputation, but this a revealing collection of essays and will be especially enjoyable if you are familiar with Didion’s work. (If you are not, I doubt you would want to start here and I would suggest any of the three books mentioned above as better starting points.)
Arranged chronologically, the dozen or so essays were originally published in magazines from 1968 to 2000 and show Didion’s development as a writer and thinker. They feature underground newspapers, college rejection letters, Nancy Reagan, the set designer Tony Richardson, Martha Stewart and the last days of Ernest Hemingway, a writer to whom Didion is often compared.
A very early piece on not being chosen by Stanford, her first choice for college, features her effort to rework the language of the letter into something less final, perhaps her first foray into magical thinking. The piece of Nancy Reagan written when she was the First Lady of California, offers a preview of where the Republican party is headed and Last Words examines the writer’s block endured by Ernest Hemingway at the end of his career. The Martha Stewart piece argues that her image problems as a tough boss would be considerably mitigated if she were a man.
Highly recommended to Didion fans. And reading Joan Didion is highly recommended to anyone not already familiar with her.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 30, 2021
By a long shot. I’ve read pretty much everything Joan Didion has ever published…and this collection doesn’t hold together. I found the essays overly long, or boring, and sometimes both…a first for mine and Joans relationship.
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 29, 2021
As a decades-long fan of Joan Didion’s work, I was eager to get a copy of this book as soon as it was available. Unfortunately, I found the essays collected here disappointing–they are typical Didion, but not at her best. I can see no reason for recycling these essays other than as an excuse to get the editor’s very long preface in print.
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent offering
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 1, 2021
I enjoyed the essays well enough except for the Martha Stewart piece, which was notably dull and lacked Didion’s usual sharpness. I don’t see this as a necessary volume and it’s rather short (like the joke about the meal that was so bad but the portions were too small). It was vaguely worth the price on Kindle, far less so in print.
About Joan Didion Author of Let Me Tell You What I Mean Pdf Book
joan Didion the Author of Let Me Tell You What I Mean Pdf Book was born in California and lived in New York City. She was best known for her novels and her literary journalism.
Her novels and essays explore the disintegration of American morals and cultural chaos, where the overriding theme is individual and social fragmentation. A sense of anxiety or dread permeates much of her work.
Let Me Tell You What I Mean pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Knopf; 1st Edition (January 26, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 059331848X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593318485
- Item Weight : 9.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.8 x 0.85 x 7.53 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #215 in Essays (Books)
- #223 in Author Biographies
- #2,811 in Memoirs (Books)
- Customer Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars 1,395 ratings
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