Slouching Towards Bethlehem; Play It As It Lays

Slouching Towards Bethlehem; Play It As It Lays

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Author/Editor: Didion, Joan
Publisher: Quality Paperback Book Club
Date: 1992
Binding: Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 452 p.
Condition: USED - Very good. An unmarked copy with tight binding and minimal edge wear.

The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, decades after its first publication, the essential portrait of America--particularly California--in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture.

Didion's 1970 novel Play It As It Lays is a ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, focusing on Maria Wyeth, an emotional drifter in her early thirties who has become almost immune to both pain and pleasure. The novel is set in a place beyond good and evil--literally in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul.