Famous US author Joan Didion dead aged 87
Author Joan Didion, a U.S. literary icon credited with ushering in “new journalism” with her essays on Los Angeles life in the tumultuous 1960s, died on Dec. 23. She was 87.
Didion, a successful reporter, film screenwriter and novelist known for her piercing insights and understated glamor, died at her home in New York due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, her publisher said.
“We will mourn her death but celebrate her life, knowing that her work will inspire generations of readers and writers to come,” said her editor Shelley Wanger, at Penguin Random House’s Knopf imprint.
Didion’s early work included her seminal 1968 first-person essay collection “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” which delighted critics and made her a bona fide star, and “Play It as It Lays,” a novel about Hollywood lives.
“The White Album,” an essay collection that depicted West Coast hippie counterculture, the rise of the Black Panthers and the notorious Manson murders, is perhaps Didion’s most widely recognized work, starting with the famous sentence: “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”
Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne penned screenplays including Al Pacino’s romantic drama “The Panic in Needle Park.”
In 1976, they re-wrote romantic musical “A Star is Born,” resulting in the smash box-office hit starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
Other scripts included “True Confessions,” starring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall, and “Up Close and Personal,” an adaptation of a biography of U.S. news anchor Jessica Savitch featuring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.