Monday, November 05, 2012

After Henry

We read After Henry for book club - I've never read Joan Didion before and it was a fairly nice introduction to her work.  She writes beautifully, and that book of essays (written after her editor, Henry, died) focus mainly on Reagan politics, and the politics and cultures of place: New York, California, and Hawaii.  I really liked everything she wrote about California - she really has a knack for capturing the zeitgeist of place.

The only downside to After Henry is that it's LITERALLY like reading a 30-year old New Yorker.  Like, really good, but a little out of my frame of reference.  I didn't start paying attention to politics until the 2nd Clinton administration.

On earthquakes in southern Cal, she writes:
At odd moments during the next few days people would suddenly clutch at tables, or walls.  "Is it going," they would say, or "I think it's moving" They almost always said "it", and what they meant by "it" was not just the ground but the world as they knew it.  I have lived all my life with the promise of the Big One, but when it starts going now even I get the jitters.
I really want to read one of her novels, preferably about California, but not sure where to start - any suggestions?

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