The White Album

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Macmillan, 1990 - Literary Collections - 222 pages
248 Reviews
First published in 1979,The White Albumis a mosaicof the late sixties and seventies. It includes, among other bizarre artifacts and personalities, the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a Balck Panther Party press conference, the story of John Paul Getty's museum, the romance of water in an arid landscape, and the swirl and confusion of the sixties. With commanding sureness of mood and language, Joan Didion exposes the realities and dreams of that age of self-discovery whose spiritual center was California.
Joan Didion is the author of several novels and works of nonfiction, among themSlouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Miami, Salvador, After Henry,andPolitical Fictions.She lives in New York City.
First published in 1979,The White Albumis a journalistic mosaicof American life in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. It includes, among other bizarre artifacts and personalities, reportage on the dark journeys and impulses of the Manson family, a visit to a Black Panther Party press conference, the story of John Paul Getty's museum, a meditation on the romance of water in an arid landscape, and reflections on the swirl and confusion that marked this era. With commanding sureness of mood and language, Didion exposes the realities and dreams of an age of self-discovery whose spiritual center was California. "All of the essays manifest not only [Didion's] intelligence but an instinct for details that continue to emit pulsations in the reader's memory and a style that is spare, subtly musical in its phrasing and exact. Add to these her highly vulnerable sense of herself, and the result is a voice like no other in contemporary journalism."—Robert Towers, The New York Times Book Review

"Didion manges to make the sorry stuff of troubled times (bike movies, for instance, and Bishop James Pike) as interesting and suggestive as the monuments that win her dazzled admiration (Georgia O'Keeffe, the Hoover Dam, the mountains around Bogota) . . . A timely and elegant collection."—The New Yorker

"Didion is an original journalistic talent who can strike at the heart, or the absurdity, of a matter in our contemporary wasteland with quick, graceful strokes."—The San Francisco Chronicle
    Table of Contents
I. THE WHITE ALBUM

The White Album

II. CALIFORNIA REPUBLIC
James Pike, American
Holy Water
Many Mansions
The Getty
Bureaucrats
Good Citizens
Notes Toward a Dreampolitik

III. WOMEN
The Women's Movement
Doris Lessing
Georgia O'Keeffe

IV. SOJOURNS
In the Islands
In Hollywood
In Bed
On the Road
On the Mall
In Bogota
At the Dam

V. ON THE MORNING AFTER THE SIXTIES
On the Morning After the Sixties
Quiet Days in Malibu
 

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Absolutely brilliant prose. - Goodreads
... this, I thought to myself, is writing. - Goodreads
Fantastic insight as to life in the crazy 60s in LA - Goodreads
Didion is an astonishing writer. - Goodreads
More deathly brilliant and dread-filled prose. - Goodreads
... kind of hard to read but I liked it. - Goodreads

Review: The White Album

User Review  - Victoria - Goodreads

This was the first Didion book I read. She is now my favorite author. This collection of essays fit well together. Her prose and criticism entrance and make you question how you look at the 1960s. Read full review

Review: The White Album

User Review  - Jackie - Goodreads

Luminous, perceptive, minutely observed. This would be a perfect collection of essays if not for the clunker in the middle on the Women's Movement. It doesn't have the same tone or style as Didion's ... Read full review

All 187 reviews »

Contents

James Pike American
51
Holy Water
59
Many Mansions
67
Bureaucrats
79
III WOMEN
109
Doris Lessing
119
At the Dam
198
On the Morning After the Sixties
205
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About the author (1990)

Joan Didion is the author of five novels and six works of nonfiction:Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, Miami, Salvador, After Henry,andPolitical Fictions.She lives in New York City.

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