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Book review

A grief observed

Full of painful questions, Didion recounts struggles after the loss of her family

Joan Didion’s new memoir, more about her loss than those lost, is a meditation on mortality and the burden of survival. Joan Didion’s new memoir, more about her loss than those lost, is a meditation on mortality and the burden of survival. (Brigitte Lacombe)
By Floyd Skloot
November 6, 2011

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Joan Didion’s best-selling memoir, “The Year of Magical Thinking,’’ won the 2005 National Book Award. Harrowing, intense, its narrative dealt with a rush of devastating intimate losses that occurred between December 2003 and August 2005: the sudden death of Didion’s husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, and the desperate illnesses of their adopted daughter, Quintana Roo, who died-at the age of thirty-nine-shortly after the book’s completion.Didion’s new memoir, “Blue Nights,’’ is a continuation of “The Year of Magical Thinking,’’ focused on the aftermath of these two deaths.

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BLUE NIGHTS By Joan Didion

Knopf, 188 pp., $25