Where I was from

by Joan Didion

Paperback, 2004

Call number



New York,NY: Vintage Books


In her moving and insightful new book, Joan Didion reassesses parts of her life, her work, her history and ours. A native Californian, Didion applies her scalpel-like intelligence to the state's ethic of ruthless self-sufficiency in order to examine that ethic's often tenuous relationship to reality. Combining history and reportage, memoir and literary criticism, Where I Was From explores California's romances with land and water; its unacknowledged debts to railroads, aerospace, and big government; the disjunction between its code of individualism and its fetish for prisons. Whether she is writing about her pioneer ancestors or privileged sexual predators, robber barons or writers (not excluding herself), Didion is an unparalleled observer, and her book is at once intellectually provocative and deeply personal.… (more)

Media reviews

Where I Was From seems to promise the story of a fall, the vanishing of some Eden, but as always with Didion, it’s not so simple. The question quickly arises: Fall from what? ... California is always a mistake, though Didion’s far from saying how it could have been gotten right.



Original publication date


Physical description

226 p.; 21 cm


0679752862 / 9780679752868


Page: 0.1113 seconds