On Keeping a Notebook
...Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it? Why do I keep a notebook at all? It is easy to deceive oneself on all those scores. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss....
American novelist, essayist, and screenwriter. A native of California, Didion studied at the University of California at Berkeley. After winning Vogue magazine's Prix de Paris contest for excellence in writing, she began working for the magazine, and left in 1963, the year her first novel, Run River, was published. Since then, she has written five more novels, most recently The Last Thing He Wanted (1996). The essays collected in Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1969) and The White Album (1979) captured the spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, respectively, and put Didion in the forefront of American essayists. Her recent works of nonfiction include Fixed Ideas: America since 9.11 (2003) and The Year of Magical Thinking (2005), winner of the National Book Award. We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live (2006) collects her first seven volumes of nonfiction. See also joan-didion.info.