The White Album: Essays

Open Road Media
17
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New York Times Bestseller: An “elegant” mosaic of trenchant observations on the late sixties and seventies from the author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem (The New Yorker).

In this landmark essay collection, Joan Didion brilliantly interweaves her own “bad dreams” with those of a nation confronting the dark underside of 1960s counterculture.
 
From a jailhouse visit to Black Panther Party cofounder Huey Newton to witnessing First Lady of California Nancy Reagan pretend to pick flowers for the benefit of news cameras, Didion captures the paranoia and absurdity of the era with her signature blend of irony and insight. She takes readers to the “giddily splendid” Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the cool mountains of Bogotá, and the Jordanian Desert, where Bishop James Pike went to walk in Jesus’s footsteps—and died not far from his rented Ford Cortina. She anatomizes the culture of shopping malls—“toy garden cities in which no one lives but everyone consumes”—and exposes the contradictions and compromises of the women’s movement. In the iconic title essay, she documents her uneasy state of mind during the years leading up to and following the Manson murders—a terrifying crime that, in her memory, surprised no one.
 
Written in “a voice like no other in contemporary journalism,” The White Album is a masterpiece of literary reportage and a fearless work of autobiography by the National Book Award–winning author of The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times Book Review). Its power to electrify and inform remains undiminished nearly forty years after it was first published.
 
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About the author

Joan Didion is the author of five novels, ten works of nonfiction, and a play. Her books include Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It as It Lays, The White Album, The Year of Magical Thinking, and, most recently, South and West: From a Notebook. Born in Sacramento, California, she lives in New York City.
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4.1
17 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
May 9, 2017
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781504045667
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / United States / 20th Century
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States
 
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
 
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West.

In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album “capture[s] the mood of America” and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times).
 
Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the “sideshows” of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two “actors on location;” and “Girl of the Golden West,” a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and insightful parallel between the kidnapped heiress and the emigrants who settled California. “Sentimental Journeys” is a deeply felt study of New York media coverage of the brutal rape of a white investment banker in Central Park, a notorious crime that exposed the city’s racial and class fault lines.
 
Dedicated to Henry Robbins, Didion’s friend and editor from 1966 until his death in 1979, After Henry is an indispensable collection of “superior reporting and criticism” from a writer on whom we have relied for more than fifty years “to get the story straight” (Los Angeles Times).
 
 
For Andre Dubus, "the quotidian and the spiritual don't exist on different planes, but infuse each other. His is an unapologetically sacramental vision of life in which ordinary things participate in the miraculous, the miraculous in ordinary things. He believes in God, and talks to Him, and doesn't mince words. He believes in ghosts . . . He is open to mystery, and of all mysteries the one that interests him most is the human potential for transcendence."

So wrote Tobias Wolff seven years ago, about Andre Dubus's Broken Vessels, and that insight describes perfectly the twenty-five pieces in this powerfully moving new collection, a continuation of Dubus's candid, intensely personal exploration into matters of morality, religion, and creativity. Since that first book of essays, written after the 1986 accident that cost him his leg and, for a time, the ability to write, Mr. Dubus has published Dancing After Hours, a unanimously heralded book of stories "at once harrowing and exhilarating" (Time).
        Here is Dubus on the rape of his beloved sister, his first real job, a gay naval officer, Hemingway,
the blessing of his first marriage, his dear friend Richard Yates, his own crippling, lost autumnal pleasures, having sons and grandsons, his first books, meeting a woman who witnessed his accident, the Catholic church, and, of course, his faith.
        A writer of immense sensitivity, vulnerability, and thoughtfulness--a master at the height of his talent--whose work "is suffused with grace, bathed in a kind of spiritual glow" (New York Times Book Review).


From the Hardcover edition.
For fans of John Jeremiah Sullivan, Leslie Jamison, Geoff Dyer, and W. G. Sebald, the twenty-one essays in David Searcy’s debut collection are captivating, daring—and completely unlike anything else you’ve read before. Forging connections between the sublime and the mundane, this is a work of true grace, wisdom, and joy.

Expansive in scope but deeply personal in perspective, the pieces in Shame and Wonder are born of a vast, abiding curiosity, one that has led David Searcy into some strange and beautiful territory, where old Uncle Scrooge comic books reveal profound truths, and the vastness of space becomes an expression of pure love. Whether ruminating on an old El Camino pickup truck, those magical prizes lurking in the cereal boxes of our youth, or a lurid online ad for “Sexy Girls Near Dallas,” Searcy brings his unique blend of affection and suspicion to the everyday wonders that surround and seduce us. In “Nameless,” he ruminates on spirituality and the fate of an unknown tightrope walker who falls to his death in Texas in the 1880s, buried as a local legend but without a given name. “The Hudson River School” weaves together Google Maps, classical art, and dental hygiene into a story that explores—with exquisite humor and grace—the seemingly impossible angles at which our lives often intersect. And in “An Enchanted Tree Near Fredericksburg,” countless lovers carve countless hearts into the gnarled trunk of an ancient oak tree, leaving their marks to be healed, lifted upward, and, finally, absorbed.

Haunting, hilarious, and full of longing, Shame and Wonder announces the arrival of David Searcy as an essential and surprising new voice in American writing.

Praise for Shame and Wonder

“Astonishment is a quality central to David Searcy’s Shame and Wonder. . . . What unites these twenty-one essays . . . is the sense of a wildly querying intelligence suspended in a state of awe. . . . Searcy is drawn instinctively to moments, the way parcels of time expand and contract in memory, conjuring from ordinary experience a hidden sense of all that is extraordinary in the world, in being alive.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A lovely implicit argument for a particular orientation toward the world: continuous awe and wonder . . . Everywhere, David Searcy finds the strange and marvelous in careful examination of the quotidian.”—NPR

“Peculiar and lively . . . Like a down-home Roland Barthes, [Searcy’s] quirky observations and sudden narrative turns remind us of the strangeness we miss every day.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Often nostalgic and whimsical . . . brings to life the shadows of our kaleidoscopic world.”—The Dallas Morning News

“What makes Searcy such a master storyteller is that he is a master observer, sharing his vision through essays that read like exquisitely crafted short stories.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“In twenty-one captivatingly offbeat essays, Searcy finds the exceptional in the everyday . . . and contemplates the mysteries therein with grace and eloquence.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A collection of essays laced with wisdom and beauty.”—Paste

“Slyly brilliant—a self-deprecatory look at life in all its weirdness.”—Austin American-Statesman

“A work of genius—a particular kind of genius, to be sure.”—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk


From the Hardcover edition.
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