BY CHANCE, I began my reading (or re-reading) of this early work just as we hit peak Santa Ana season.
The winds yowling and the fires zipping across the county. I’m a native and yet it never ceases to be frightening. Knowing the potential keys up everything. Didion writes with the edge of a knife:
“I have neither heard nor read that a Santa Ana is due, but I know it, and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too,” Joan Didion writes in ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem.’ ‘We know it because we feel it. The baby frets. The maid sulks. … To live with the Santa Ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior.’
I review the new Library of America collection of her work “Didion The 1960s & 70s, ” for the Los Angeles Times. Click here to read the full review.