Sunday, March 10, 2019

The ten books that defined the 1960s

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged the ten books that defined the 1960s, including:
Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968)

Even if Joan Didion wasn’t on a certain tote bag, this collection would hold its own as an essential text of the 1960s—one that defines and describes it, particularly if you live in California. In 1979, Michiko Kakutani wrote that Didion “has created, in her books, one of the most devastating and distinctive portraits of modern America to be found in fiction or nonfiction—a portrait of America where “disorder was its own point.” A gifted reporter with an eye for the telling detail-the frayed hem, the shaking hand-she is also a prescient witness, finding in her own experiences parallels of the times. The voice is always precise, the tone unsentimental, the view unabashedly subjective. She takes things personally.” She is still the foremost chronicler of the American 60s, and one of the most important living American writers.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is among Emma Cline's six favorite books set in California, Boris Kachka's six favorite books, Max Jones's top ten books about exploration, and Kurt Andersen’s five favorite ’60s books, and is a book David Rakoff keeps returning to.

--Marshal Zeringue