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The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
In late 2003, the daughter of writers Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne was hospitalized with septic shock and put in a medically-induced coma. Shortly afterward, Dunne died from a heart attack. Joan Didion suddenly found herself dealing with her daughter's life-threatening illness and the inconsolable grief for her husband of forty years. The Year of Magical Thinking is her memoir of the year after his death, coping with the usual questions and concerns of those who have lost a partner, but also remembering their lifetime together. Didion and Dunne spent most of their days together, working out of offices in the same house, sharing and editing each other's writing. During this year of grief and remembrance, he daughter relapsed and was sent back to the hospital. Joan Didion tells the story of that year with poignance and sadness and The Year of Magical Thinking has received glowing reviews. The Washington Post says, "The Year of Magical Thinking, though it spares nothing in describing Didion's confusion, grief and derangement, is a work of surpassing clarity and honesty. It may not provide 'meaning' to her husband's death or her daughter's illness, but it describes their effects on her with unsparing candor."
Winner of the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction
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