"We tell ourselves stories in order to live."
Joan Didion, who is one of America's finest novelists was born on a cold winter day on December 5, 1934 to Frank Reese and Eduane Didon in Sacramento, California. When Joan was young she was a shy bookish child, but she was able to push herself to overcome her shyness through acting and public speaking. As a child Joan moved around several times with her brother and mother to be with her father, who was an officer in the Army Corps during World War II. In Joan's senior year she won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue, with the prize of a job at the magazine. After two years working at Vogue, Joan worked her way from promotional copywriter to associate feature editor. During that time she wrote her first novel Run,River. The book sold poorly, but attracted favorable reviews and she was offered a contract to write a second book. Joan took a break after marrying her husband John Gregory Dunne who was also a writer, and adopting their baby girl who they named Quintana Roo. In 1968 Joan released a book titled, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" which is a collection of essays written by Joan herself. Then came Joan's "big break" which was her second novel Play It As It Lays. This was actually turned into a play two years later, and is one of the signature books of the decade. Joan's novel "The Year Of Magical Thinking", which was written in 2005 was very emotional because it was written after the deaths of both her husband who died after a fatal heart attack, and her daughter who also died after being in a comatose state. The book was actually awarded The National Book Award in 2005. In 2011 she continued her heart wrenching in the memoir Blue Nights directly addressing the loss of her daughter.