September 5, 2013
“Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.”
Joan Didion (1934- )
A Sacramento native, Didion grew up in an Army family, their constant relocations causing her to feel like a perpetual outsider. As a student at UC Berkeley, she won a writing contest sponsored by Vogue, leading to a job at the magazine. She was married to writer John Gregory Dunne, and is the author of five novels and more than a dozen non-fiction books. Didion often writes about what she sees as chaos in American culture. Her work is permeated by a sense of foreboding dread of social change and anxiety at individual uncertainty. Her best known work, Slouching Toward Bethlehem, is a series of vignettes illustrating life in 1960’s California. One of her most recent works, The Year of Magical Thinking describes her experiences around the deaths of her husband and daughter in a short span of time. President Obama will present her with the National Medal of Arts and Humanities this year.
With this post the Quote of the Week celebrates three years with Good Morning Gloucester, one hundred and fifty entries. Just so you know, I write the biographies based on my research to give the quote context, and one can click on the name or the picture that Joey adds to be connected to a Wikipedia entry for that particular author. Sometimes the adages are only attributed when I can’t find evidence of the direct quote; famous quipsters like Abraham Lincoln and Yogi Berra are often credited with things others actually said first.
I am always encouraged by your comments, and your suggestions are welcome too.
Many thanks to Joey and the GMG team for creating a forum where these lines can be shared. I find it astonishing how much wisdom there is in the world, and how the thoughts of famous men and women can apply to my own life. I hope you do too.