Political Fictions

ISBN-10: 0375718907
ISBN-13: 9780375718908
Edition: N/A
List price: $16.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: In 1988, Joan Didion began looking at the American political process for The New York Review of Books. What she found was not a mechanism that offered the nation’s citizens a voice in its affairs but one designed by—and for—“that handful of insiders  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/27/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

In 1988, Joan Didion began looking at the American political process for The New York Review of Books. What she found was not a mechanism that offered the nation’s citizens a voice in its affairs but one designed by—and for—“that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life.” The eight pieces collected here from The New York Review build, one on the other, to a stunning whole, a portrait of the American political landscape that tells us, devastatingly, how we got where we are today. In Political Fictions, tracing the dreamwork that was already clear at the time of the first Bush ascendance in 1988, Didion covers the ways in which the continuing and polarizing nostalgia for an imagined America led to the entrenchment of a small percentage of the electorate as the nation’s deciding political force, the ways in which the two major political parties have worked to narrow the electorate to this manageable element, the readiness with which the media collaborated in this process, and, finally and at length, how this mindset led inexorably over the past dozen years to the crisis that was the 2000 election. In this book Didion cuts to the core of the deceptions and deflections to explain and illuminate what came to be called “the disconnect”—and to reveal a political class increasingly intolerant of the nation that sustains it. Joan Didion’s profound understanding of America’s political and cultural terrain, her sense of historical irony, and the play of her imagination make Political Fictions a disturbing and brilliant tour de force.

Born in Sacramento, California, on December 5, 1934, Joan Didion received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956. She wrote for Vogue from 1956 to 1963, and was visiting regent's lecturer in English at the University of California, Berkeley in 1976. Didion also published novels, short stories, social commentary, and essays. Her work often comments on social disorder. Didion wrote for years on her native California; from there her perspective broadened and turned to the countries of Central America and Southeast Asia. Her novels include Democracy (1984) and The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). Well known nonfiction titles include Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968), The White Album (1979), The Year of Magical Thinking (2005) and Blue Nights (2011). In 1971 Joan Didion was nominated for the National Book Award in fiction for Play It As It Lays. In 1981 she received the American Book Award in nonfiction, and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Prize in nonfiction for The White Album. Didion has received a great deal of recognition for The Year of Magical Thinking, which was awarded the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2005. In 2007, Didion received the National Book Foundation's annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2009, Didion was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Harvard University. On July 3, 2013 the White House announced Didion was one of the recipients of the National Medals of Arts and Humanities presented by President Barack Obama.

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