The Year of Magical Thinking
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From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage--and a life, in good times and bad--that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
bereavement than for married.” There was “Rees and Lutkins, British Medical Journal 4:13–16, 1967.” This study of 903 bereaved relatives versus 878 non-bereaved matched controls, followed for six years, showed “significantly higher mortality for bereaved spouses in first year.” The functional explanation for such raised mortality rates was laid out in the Institute of Medicine’s 1984 compilation: “Research to date has shown that, like many other stressors, grief frequently leads to changes in the
it spoke to me directly. As I read it I remembered how cold I had been at New York Hospital on the night John died. I had thought I was cold because it was December 30 and I had come to the hospital bare-legged, in slippers, wearing only the linen skirt and sweater into which I had changed to get dinner. This was part of it, but I was also cold because nothing in my body was working as it should. Mrs. Post would have understood that. She wrote in a world in which mourning was still recognized,
apartment, with severe chest pain and increasing fever. She was admitted that day to the Milstein Hospital at Columbia-Presbyterian after a diagnosis of pulmonary emboli was reached in the Presbyterian emergency room. Given her prolonged immobility at Beth Israel, I know now but did not know then, this was an entirely predictable development that could have been diagnosed before discharge from Beth Israel by the same imaging that was done three days later in the Presbyterian emergency room. After
generation. They were the songs, and the logic, of the generation or two that preceded my own. The score for my generation was Les Paul and Mary Ford, “How High the Moon,” a different logic altogether. It also occurs to me, not an original thought but novel to me, that the logic of those earlier songs was based on self-pity. The singer of the song about looking for the silver lining believes that clouds have come her way. The singer of the song about walking on through the storm assumes that the
division of Random House, Inc., New York, in 2006. Vintage and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. The Library of Congress has cataloged the Knopf edition as follows: Didion, Joan. The year of magical thinking / Joan Didion.—1st ed. p. cm. 1. Didion, Joan. 2. Novelists, American—20th century—Family relationships. 3. Dunne, John Gregory, 1932–2003—Death and burial. 4. Novelists, American—20th century—Biography. 5. Journalists—United States—Biography. 6. Mothers and