Jun 7, 2012 — Julian Barnes returns with a Booker Prize-winning novel while Michael Parker wins big praise for his historical story set in North Carolina. In nonfiction, there are memoirs by writer Joan Didion and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, plus David M. Eagleman looks into the secret life of the brain.
Dec 1, 2011 — This year, the best books are those that remain with readers long after they turn the last page. Whether a sprawling nonfiction narrative, a riveting first novel or a wrenching memoir, these keepers are unforgettable.
Nov 2, 2011 — Two years after the death of her husband, Joan Didion suffered the untimely loss of her only daughter. She pieces together her memories of Quintana Roo in her new memoir, Blue Nights.
Nov 1, 2011 — "She was simply the center of my life," says Joan Didion, whose daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne, died at age 39. Her death came just two years after the death of Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne. "We all survive more than we think we can," Didion tells NPR's Susan Stamberg.
Oct 29, 2011 — Joan Didion pays bitter, aching homage to her daughter, Quintana Roo, who died after a long illness at the age of 39. Blue Nights is an emotionally devastating tribute and a desperate attempt to understand aging, mortality and loss.
Mar 4, 2010 — The Los Angeles Gang Tours put a spotlight on poverty tourism, but the phenomenon isn't new. Authors writing about class have been giving views of the other side for years. Writer Leslie Jamison shares three memoirs whose accounts define the line between rubbernecking and true works of art.
Feb 8, 2007 — In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion chronicled her grief following the sudden death of her husband and the illness of their daughter. Vanessa Redgrave will star in a one-woman play based on the book.
Dec 22, 2005 — Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan lists her favorite books of 2005, including novels by Mary Gaitskill and Kazuo Ishiguro, and memoirs by Joan Didion and J.R. Moehringer.
Nov 15, 2005 — This memoir by the author, whose husband John Gregory Dunne of a heart attack while their daughter lay hospitalized in a coma, "reminds us everything can change in an instant," writes NPR listener James.
Oct 13, 2005 — Joan Didion's memoir The Year of Magical Thinking is about grieving for her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne. He died suddenly at the end of 2003, while their daughter was hospitalized with pneumonia.