Salvador [NOOK Book]

Overview

In 1982, Didion traveled to El Salvador at the height of the ghastly civil war. From battlefields to body dumps, she trained a merciless eye not only on the terror but also on the depredations and evasions of our own country's foreign policy.

In 1982, Didion traveled to El Salvador at the height of the ghastly civil war. From battlefields to body dumps, she trained a merciless eye not only on the terror but also on the depredations ...

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Salvador

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Overview

In 1982, Didion traveled to El Salvador at the height of the ghastly civil war. From battlefields to body dumps, she trained a merciless eye not only on the terror but also on the depredations and evasions of our own country's foreign policy.

In 1982, Didion traveled to El Salvador at the height of the ghastly civil war. From battlefields to body dumps, she trained a merciless eye not only on the terror but also on the depredations and evasions of our own country's foreign policy.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Didion's 1983 volume captured "the terror and unpredictability permeating the El Salvadorean scene," said LJ's reviewer (LJ 3/1/83). Though political events in El Salvador are no longer in the public eye, this serves as a chronicle of a dark chapter in that country's tumultuous history.
From the Publisher
"No one has interpreted the place better.... Salvador shines with enlightening observation, and its language is lean and precise, in short what we have come to expect from Ms. Didion." —The New York Times Book Review"[Didion has] the instincts of an exceptional reporter and the focus of a historian [as well as] a novelist's appreciation for the surreal. . . . Her clarity of style illuminates the vast darkness that engulfs El Salvador." —Los Angeles Times Book Review"Everything [Didion] writes grows out of close observation of the social landscape of El Salvador. And it is quite impossible to deny the artistic brilliance of her reportage. She brings the country to life so that it ends up invading our flesh."—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307787361
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/5/2011
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 417,021
  • File size: 170 KB

Meet the Author

Joan Didion
Joan Didion was born in California and lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and seven previous books of nonfiction.

Biography

One of the strongest voices in American letters, Joan Didion has made her mark with fiercely intelligent novels (Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer), insightful nonfiction (Salvador, Political Fictions), and screenplays co-written with her late husband, John Gregory Dunne (Panic in Needle Park, Up Close and Personal).

Born in Sacramento, Didion attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1956 with a degree in English. After college, she moved to New York to work for Vogue magazine. Recognized immediately as a talented and insightful writer, she contributed frequently to such diverse publications as Mademoiselle, Esquire, The New York Times, and National Review; and in 1963 she published her first novel, Run River. She and Dunne were wed in 1964; and for the remainder of their married life, they divided their time between New York and L.A., collaborating frequently on Hollywood scripts while developing separate and distinguished literary careers.

In December of 2003, Dunne died of a massive heart attack, while the couple's recently married daughter, Quintana Roo, lay comatose in a New York hospital. Didion spent the next year blindsided by a grief so profound it propelled her into a sort of madness. She chronicled the entire experience in The Year of Magical Thinking, a spellbinding memoir of bereavement written in the spare, elegant prose that has become a hallmark of her work. Published in 2005 (scant months after Quintana's death), this elegiac book -- Didion's most personal and affecting work to date -- became a huge bestseller. It received a National Book Award and was turned, two years later, into a successful Broadway play starring Vanessa Redgrave.

Since her 1963 debut, Didion has alternated between novels and nonfiction, proving herself a wry and astute observer of America's shifting political and cultural landscape. Written nearly a decade apart, her two essay collections Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979) are considered classics of 1960s counterculture. Moreover, the author's identity as a seventh-generation Californian has colored her writing in profoundly significant ways. For our money, no contemporary American writer has examined more deftly the unique role of "place" in everyday life.

Good To Know

A few interesting outtakes from our interview with Didion:

"My first (and only, ever) job was at Vogue. I learned a great deal there – I learned how to use words economically (because I was writing to space), I learned how to very quickly take in enough information about an entirely foreign subject to produce a few paragraphs that at least sounded authoritative."

"I would like my readers to know that writing never gets any easier. You don't gain confidence. You are always flying blind."

Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, co-wrote seven screenplays, including: The Panic in Needle Park (1971), Play It As It Lays (1973), A Star Is Born (1977), True Confessions (1982), Hills Like White Elephants (1990), Broken Trust(1995) and Up Close and Personal (1995).

She is the sister-in-law of author Dominick Dunne and the aunt of actor/director Griffin Dunne.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 5, 1934
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sacramento, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1956

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 15, 2009

    Everything reporting should be.

    Joan Didion's reportage of her investigative journey in the heart of a Central American civil war reveals all the attributes every serious journalist must possess. She is courageous, politically astute, intellectually attuned, socially curious, able to see the wide-view and the intimate detail as one fabric, impossible to fool, and tough as nails. Ms. Didion's coverage of the massacre of many hundreds of innocent citizens in the mountainous region of El Mazote, and, worse, the cover-up by the governments of El Savador and the United States is both heartbreaking and infuriating. This is a condemning history lesson... not just about the civil war in El Salvador, but about the corrupt North American policies that rely on its own citizen's ignorance. The hope is that this book will change that. Joan Didion at her most facile and most serious. Extraordinary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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