Novelist, essayist and screenwriter Joan Didion has chronicled and shaped American culture for over four decades. The prolific writer’s fiction includes Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, and The Last Thing He Wanted. Her non-fiction, beginning with Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and continuing throughout her journalistic career exemplifies much of what “New Journalism” represents: a subjective approach to reporting that employs literary techniques. The author’s inimitable voice was brought even further to the foreground with her best-selling memoir The Year of Magical Thinking. Writes Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times, “she has created, in her books, one of the most devastating and distinctive portraits of modern America to be found in fiction or nonfiction – a portrait of America where disorder was its own point.” In her newest memoir, Blue Nights, Didion focuses on the loss of her daughter, and addresses their relationship and her anxieties about parenting and aging with stunning frankness.
Vendela Vida is the author of the critically acclaimed novels And Now You Can Go, Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name, Girls on the Verge, and most recently The Lovers. Vida is a co-founder of The Believer and 826 Valencia. She also co-wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film Away We Go, directed by Sam Mendes and starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph.