Magical Mourning

Joan Didion’s pretty big in the literary world. Born in 1934, she has had a successful, lengthy career penning novels (Play It as It Lays), journalistic essays (Slouching Towards Bethlehem), and movie scripts (Up Close & Personal). The movie scripts, though, were a writing project she and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, shared. When he passed in 2003, they had been married for almost 40 years. The grief from his death influenced Didion to write the nonfiction novel The Year of Magical Thinking, which poetically — and openly — expresses coping with loss and the irrational thinking that can occur (for instance, her belief that after Dunne’s death she couldn’t give up his shoes because, when he returned, he would need them). Mourning literature might not be the most popular genre at the bookstore — but tackled by Didion, this type of story is a critically acclaimed and compelling read: It was awarded the National Book Award in 2005. Didion adapted the novel for the stage, adding to the story her daughter’s passing, which occurred two years later. Starting Thursday at 8 p.m., you can see the play performed at the Women’s Theater Project at Sixth Star Studios (505 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $25, $15 for students. The show runs until March 14. Call 866-811-4111, or visit
Thu., Feb. 18, 8 p.m., 2010

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