The Year of Magical Thinking
Winner of the National Book Award 2005
Just before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne's and Joan Didion's only daughter, Quintana, fell ill. At first they thought it was flu, then pneumonia, then complete sceptic shock. She was put into a coma and placed on life support. Days later - the night before New Year's Eve - the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John suffered a massive and fatal heart attack. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of 40 years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery. This powerful book is Didion's attempt to make sense of this time of tragedy. The result is an exploration of an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage, and a life, in good times and bad.