Episode 619 — Steffie Nelson, Heather John Fogarty, & Sarah Tomlinson

   

Steffie Nelson, Heather John Fogarty, and Sarah Tomlinson are the guests. All are contributors to a new essay anthology called Slouching Towards Los Angeles: Living and Writing by Joan Didion’s Light. The collection is edited by Steffie Nelson and is available from Rare Bird Books. It is the official January pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

In The White Album, Joan Didion famously wrote that “a place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively…loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.” Cruising in her Daytona yellow Corvette Stingray, taking it all in behind dark glasses, Joan Didion claimed California for all time. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a multi-faceted portrait of the literary icon who, in turn, belongs to us.

This collection of original essays covers the turf that made Didion a sensation—Hollywood and Patty Hearst; Malibu, Manson and the Mojave; the Summer of Love and the Central Park Five—while bringing together some of the finest voices of today’s Los Angeles and beyond. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a love letter and thank you note; personal memoir and social commentary; cultural history and literary critique. Fans of Didion, lovers of California, and fellow writers alike will all find something to dig into, in this rich exploration of the inner and outer landscapes Joan Didion traveled, shaping our own journeys in the process.

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In today’s monologue, I talk about the holidays.