A Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion had an annus horribilis to rival Queen Elizabeth's that time. First, a few days before Christmas, her only child, 33-year-old Quintana fell seriously ill, was hospitalized and put into an induced coma. Then, the night before New Year's Eve, her husband died of a massive heart attack while Didion was preparing supper. Later, their daughter pulled through her illness, only to collapse, ill again, months later. Didion, a tremendously talented writer of fiction and essays, became obsessed with how, in a perfectly ordinary moment, everything changed dramatically and for the worst. This book is her attempt to make sense of the time she spent navigating through her grief—which she does with immense grace.
category: best of 2005