Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

by Joan Didion (Author)

From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt.

These twelve pieces from 1968 to 2000, never before gathered together, offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of a legendary figure. They showcase Joan Didion's incisive reporting, her empathetic gaze, and her role as "an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time" (The New York Times Book Review).

Here, Didion touches on topics ranging from newspapers ("the problem is not so much whether one trusts the news as to whether one finds it"), to the fantasy of San Simeon, to not getting into Stanford. In "Why I Write," Didion ponders the act of writing: "I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means." From her admiration for Hemingway's sentences to her acknowledgment that Martha Stewart's story is one "that has historically encouraged women in this country, even as it has threatened men," these essays are acutely and brilliantly observed. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive, bemused, and stunningly prescient.

Let Me Tell You What I Mean: A Memoir is a captivating and insightful work of nonfiction by Joan Didion, published in 2021.

Through a collection of personal essays, Joan Didion invites readers into her life, sharing her thoughts on a wide range of topics, from her childhood in California to her experiences as a writer and journalist.

With her signature sharp wit and keen observation, Didion explores the complexities of human relationships, the challenges of aging, and the ever-changing landscape of American society.

In "Let Me Tell You What I Mean," Didion reflects on her early days as a writer, her struggles with writer's block, and the inspiration she found in the works of other authors.

She also delves into her personal life, recounting the loss of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and the challenges of raising their daughter, Quintana.

With her characteristic honesty and candor, Didion offers readers a glimpse into her creative process, her fears, and her hopes, providing a deeply personal and poignant account of her life and work.

"Let Me Tell You What I Mean" is a must-read for fans of Didion's writing and for anyone interested in the art of storytelling and the complexities of the human condition.


95 pages
January 26, 2021