The Night Album
A memoir and a work of polemical journalism consider death and the ways we approach it
by Joan Didion
$25.00 List Price
IF WE LIVE LONG ENOUGH, GRIEF BECOMES A RESURGENT SCAR on the landscape. Death erases parents, friends, and spouses from our maps of the world, desertifying and shrinking the terrain. Even deaths of people we did not particularly like provoke a queasy feeling that our own extinction is rushing toward us, unthinkable and certain.
We don’t expect to lose our children. That is outside the natural order of things, an affronting foreclosure of possibilities. “To forget the wonder, the terror, the utter finality of this fact, even for a moment, is to experience it again as if for the first time,” Rudolph Wurlitzer writes in Hard Travel to Sacred Places, a book about the death of his wife’s, Lynn Davis’s, twenty-one-year-old son Ayrev. We hear the same numbed shock in Joan Didion’s new memoir, Blue Nights: This was
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