Joan Didion has written at least one iconic novel, Play It As It Lays, and several groundbreaking works of nonfiction, including the essay collections, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and The White Album. As definitive impressionistic works of the 1960s, they should endure well into the future. Probably Didion is best known for her late-career memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. In this book (later adapted for, of all things, the Broadway stage), she recounts the harrowing experience of losing her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and their beloved adopted daughter, Quintana Roo.
Six months after the United States and Cuba resumed full diplomatic relations, the expectation that the resumption of ties would encourage changes in Cuban society has not been met. On the contrary, the Raúl Castro’s regime has increased arbitrary arrests of dissidents and brutal attacks on the Ladies in White, a pacifist group of wives and mothers of the arrested who march through the streets dressed in white and in silence, dampening hopes of the exhausted Cuban nation that change would finally arrive.