Introducing the Collins Modern Classics, a series featuring some of the most significant books of recent times, books that shed light on the human experience – classics which will endure for generations to come.
A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty
John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their daughter fall ill. At first they thought it was flu, then she was placed on life support. Days later, the Dunnes were sitting down to dinner when John suffered a massive and fatal coronary.
This powerful book is Didion’s ‘attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness’. The result is a personal yet universal portrait of marriage and life, in good times and bad, from one of the defining voices of American literature.
‘Beautiful and devastating … Didion has always been a precise, humane and meticulously truthful writer, but on the subject of death she becomes essential’ Zadie Smith
About the author
Joan Didion is one of America’s most respected writers, her work constituting some of the greatest portraits of modern-day American culture. Over the four decades of her career, she has produced widely-acclaimed journalistic essays, personal essays, novels, non-fiction, memoir and screenplays. Her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
- ‘It is the most awesome performance of both participating in, and watching, an event. Even though Didion does not allow herself to break down, only a terribly controlled reader will resist doing the same’ Independent
- ‘Ultimately, and unexpectedly for a book about illness and death, this is a wonderfully life-affirming book’ Observer
- ‘Searing, informative and affecting. Don’t leave life without it’ Financial Times
- ‘This is a beautiful and devastating book by one of the finest writers we have. Didion has always been a precise, humane and meticulously truthful writer, but on the subject of death she becomes essential.’ Zadie Smith
- ‘Taking the reader to places where they would not otherwise go is one of the things a really good book can do. The Year of Magical Thinking does just that, and brilliantly. Powerful, moving and true’ Spectator
- ‘A great book, a great work. Angular, exact, pressured and tough, precise as a diamond drill bit’ Nick Laird