Joan Didion, essayist and author, dies at 87

Joan Didion at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival in New York City. Didion died Thursday following complications from Parkinson's disease. She was 87. Photo by David Shankbone/Wikicommons

Dec. 24 (UPI) — American essayist and author Joan Didion has died.

The writer died Thursday morning at her Manhattan home following complications from Parkinson‘s disease, her publisher A.A. Knopf confirmed to the New York Post. She was 87.

The New York Times also reported Didion’s death.

Didion was born in December 1934 in California, the state which influenced many of her works. She started her career at Vogue magazine and published her first novel, “Run, River,” in 1963.

“Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” Didion’s 1968 book of essays exploring 1960s counterculture in California, became one of her best-known works.

Other works include the novels “Play It as It Lays” (1970) and “A Book of Common Prayer” (1977), along with the book of essays “The White Album” (1979).

In more recent years, Didion won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for the memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking,” which explores her grief after her husband John Gregory Dunne’s death in 2003.

Didion was also preceded in death by her daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne, who died at age 39 in August 2005.


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