Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion

In late autumn and winter especially, I enjoy books that make me laugh out aloud on the metro.

Didion's autobiographical novel about her year of mourning begins with her husband's fatal heart attack and only goes downhill from there : Her year of mourning is further burdened by the severe illness of her adult daughter (who ultimately died, after the publishing of '... Magical Thinking'.)

So much for laughter on public transport.

Strangely though, these philosophical meanderings on mourning and death are almost as uplifting as comical books.

Partly, the sheer inspiring brilliance of Didion's writing tends to put me in high spirits. Good literature can have that effect.
Also, there is nothing quite like a truly doleful story of someone else's woe to make you thankful for your own state of affairs.

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