• KD DuBois

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion


The first few pages of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking had me speechless. I’d read some of her other work in one of my graduate courses, and I wasn’t a fan. But in my search for books about grief journeys, I pulled hers because I recognized her name.

Good call on my part. Her raw, honest self-reflection of her grief after her husband’s death…captivated me, for lack of a better way to describe my feelings, even though it sounds strange to me. She didn’t mince words, didn’t hide anything. And I appreciated it, because I could feel the pain in her prose and knew writing about it hurt and healed at the same time. Anger and sadness came through in sentence structure, word choice, and circular references.

I’ve written and deleted a half-page more. There’s no way my words can do her work justice. All I can say is, read it.


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