In her latest forays into the American scene, Joan Didion covers ground from Washington to Los Angeles, from a TV producer's gargantuan "manor" to the racial battlefields of New York's criminal courts. At each stop she uncovers the mythic narratives that elude other observers: Didion tells us about the fantasies the media construct around crime victims and presidential candidates; she gives us new interpretations of the stories of Nancy Reagan and Patty Hearst; she charts America's rollercoaster ride through evanescent booms and hard times that won't go away. A bracing amalgam of skepticism and sympathy, After Henry is further proof of Joan Didion's infallible radar for the true spirit of our age.
Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California, and now lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels and eight previous books of nonfiction. Her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, was published by Everyman's Library in 2006.
"Joan Didion has great instincts for metaphor. She can take an ordinary object . . . and make it as ominous as Hitchcock. . . . She's writing truths about American culture in the sand at our feet. . . . With Didion leading, you could well follow one of her paragraphs into hell." —Boston Globe
"[Didion's] reportorial pieces afford the pleasures of literature. . . . She is an expert geographer of the landscape of American public culture." —The New York Times Book Review