Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion

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Didion's mordant lucidity is like L.A. sunlight, a thing so bright sometimes it hurts. She's a descendant of the old California, the great- great-granddaughter of pioneers. But she was also schooled at Berkeley and in the literary circles of Paris and New York, so she's fully versed in the predicaments of a shaky modernity that she does not care for in the least. To drive home her belief that the world, or at least the part around L.A., is coming to a bad end, she gives us Maria Wyeth, a model turned actress turned hollowed-out woman who speaks to us from the mental institution where she has fetched up after a long slide into despair. Passing through a pointless career, a toxic marriage, an abortion, finally holding the hand of a close friend while he commits suicide; when she tells you, "I know what 'nothing' means," you believe her

- Time

The 1185th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  2. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com)

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  • Play It As It Lays
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