South and West
South and West
From a Notebook



Joan Didion has always kept notebooks—of overheard dialogue, interviews, drafts of essays, copies of articles. South and West gives us two extended excerpts from notebooks she kept in the 1970s; read together, they form a piercing view of the American political and cultural landscape.

"Notes on the South" traces a road trip that she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, took through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Her acute observations about the small towns they pass through, her interviews with local figures, and their preoccupation with race, class, and heritage suggest a South largely unchanged today. “California Notes” began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial. Though Didion never wrote the piece, the time she spent watching the trial in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the West and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Here we not only see Didion's signature irony and imagination in play, we’re also granted an illuminating glimpse into her mind and process.

Title South and West
Subtitle From a Notebook
Author Joan Didion
Publisher Vintage International
Title First Published 02 January 2018
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 160 p.
ISBN-10 0525434194
ISBN-13 9780525434191
Publication Date 02 January 2018
Main content page count 160
Weight 16 oz.