Around the town
Zola Books, a new digital publishing start-up, will be very popular with female liberal arts grads: the hybrid website is releasing previously unpublished work by Joan Didion. For free $9.99. (The New York Times)
Taken by Twitter
The Wall Street Journal wrote and then quickly deleted a post about every college girl’s favorite journalist Joan Didion quitting Twitter.
Update: Shortly after several media watchers pointed out that the Twitter account was a parody, the article was restored with an updated headline and a correction.
“[Correction: An earlier version of this story said the @JoanDidion account was the author's actual account. It is a parody. The article has been updated.]“
Of course, a parody account pretending to quit Twitter is not exactly newsworthy.
What's Old Is New Again
It’s not like Melanie Malkin ever pictured herself living on the Upper East Side, a neighborhood that has, over the past 50 years, all but disappeared from the dreams of the young and the hip.
“I mean, when I first moved up here, I didn’t want to move up here. Never, never, never,” Ms. Malkin said, who grudgingly took a cheap sublet in the neighborhood seven years ago when she was 23 years old and working for MoMA. “Nobody wants to move here. When I tell people I live here, they’re, like, eww.”
But loath as Ms. Malkin was to leave her first apartment on 29th Street, she wasn’t making a lot of money working in the museum world and she found a rent-stabilized one-bedroom on 87th Street between Lexington and Third Avenue that cost $775 a month (it’s now $938 a month). In the early days, she kept telling herself that it was convenient and cheap, but then something unexpected happened.
She started to love the Upper East Side.
Joan Didion’s new memoir, Blue Nights, about her relationship with her daughter, was released yesterday. The Daily Beast has posted an excerpt from a film made by Ms. Didion’s nephew, Griffin Dunne, with the author reading the first passages of the book interspersed with family photos and Final Cut Pro video effects. It’s Read More
On March 3, 1966, Joan Didion and her husband and screenwriting partner, John Gregory Dunne, adopted an infant girl born that morning at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. The idea to adopt had come from the former child star Diana Lynn, herself adopted, and the girl’s name, Quintana Roo, from a map of Mexico, where the couple had recently vacationed. “The baby with the fierce dark hair,” Ms. Didion writes, “stayed that night and the next two in the nursery at St. John’s and at some point during each of those nights I woke … to the same chill … dreaming that I had forgotten her, left her asleep in a drawer.” The chill is the anxious tingle of several what-if scenarios about parenthood: “What if I fail to take care of this baby? … What if this baby fails to thrive, what if this baby fails to love me? … And worse … what if I fail to love this baby?” [emphasis Ms. Didion’s].
You don’t have to be named Molly to be a Molly, though it helps. Mollies Lambert, Young and McAleer got attention not merely for their Ringwaldian monikers but for their coyly insightful writing about pop culture, their minute observations, and the manner in which they promoted themselves via social media. They’re not the only Read More
Now A Major Motion Picture
Norman Mailer’s novel about a director on the Hollywood Blacklist in the 1950s is now in development as a film, reports The Daily. The novel was originally adapted for the screen by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne in the 1980s for producer Elliott Kastner, but it was never made.
Now Michael (“son Read More
Last Tuesday, Sonny Mehta invited a murderers’ row of writers from his deep stable at Knopf to Cognac, a nondescript Midtown brasserie at Broadway and 55th. But for those aimlessly drifting from one staid BookExpo party to the next, this was the B.E.A. holy grail. Jennifer Egan! Jeffrey Eugenides! Harry Belafonte and foie gras canapés! Read More
Arianna Huffington and Joan Didion helped The Columbia Spectator raise $95,921 at their annual Blue Pencil dinner, according to a Spec alumni newsletter.
They say it’s a record-breaking sum, and it sounds like a lot of dough for a volunteer-labor college paper. (Also, which jerk donated $1?) Granted, the total includes $45,000 in Read More
On Saturday night at the Columbia Club on West 43rd Street–really just a warren carved out of the Princeton Club, but who’s keeping score?–Arianna Huffington was making a lot of promises. The keynote speaker of the Columbia Daily Spectator Awards Dinner, and newly minted face of AOL, addressed a room of college journalists and recent Read More