Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

eBook - 2015
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"She has been an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time."—Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review. Here in digital format for the first time is Joan Didion's landmark collection of essays Slouching Towards Bethlehem, work that helped define the New Journalism of the late 1960s and today stands as some of the very finest nonfiction writing ever produced by an American writer. Reflective and brilliantly observational, powered by a brave, unblinking vision that sweeps America's cultural landscape during the Vietnam era, Didion vividly documents the acid-tripping counterculture of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury in the book's title essay, and elsewhere writes of billionaire Howard Hughes and folk-singer Joan Baez, of John Wayne and Alcatraz Island, of a California murderess and a Las Vegas wedding. She writes of her own Sacramento girlhood, of life in Death Valley; she profiles an L.A. Maoist; she captures the ominous mood in the Golden Land, in southern California, when the dry, hot Santa Ana winds blow in from the desert during autumn. She writes of her eight years in New York City as a young woman, and her departure for L.A., in the revered personal essay "Goodbye to All That." A master stylist whose precise, lucid prose, elegantly layered with penetrating reflection and detail, has influenced generations of writers, Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem gives us a book that had she not gone on to write anything else, would still be celebrated today as an essential portrait of America in the 1960s. And now readers of digital books, whether fans of Joan Didion or those curious to discover this remarkable writer, can download her pioneering collection for the first time.
Publisher: NYC : Zola Books, 2015
ISBN: 9781939126139
Branch Call Number: EBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

Opinion

From Library Staff

If you’re one of the 20-somethings who currently carry tote bags emblazoned with Joan Didion’s face, you’re probably familiar with this one. But if you’re not, her first collection of nonfiction is the best place to start to understand why such tote bags exist. Didion’s essays in “Slouching” are ... Read More »


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dennismmiller
Dec 26, 2017

Slouching Towards Bethlehem collects a series of Joan Didion's short essays from the 1960s, covering subjects from Alcatraz to Howard Hughes to the CPUSA, but mostly herself and triple-faced California - LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

The title essay relates the author's experiences exploring Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love, which exemplifies her overarching (but not overpowering) theme of the emptiness at the heart of '60s America, an emptiness so profound that even those who feel it - like those San Francisco hippies - lack the words to describe it or the means to escape it. Yet the most remarkable piece may be "On Morality", in which she diagnoses American post-War social fragmentation, not as the result of a lack of morality, but the surfeit of it - innumerable competing individual moralities each demanding validation.

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Orcacreative
Apr 03, 2016

A literary gem. On Keeping a Notebook; On Self-Respect and On Morality, insightful and personal, great essays.

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