Billy Eichner
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5 Things You Didn't Know About Joan Didion

Five Things You Didn't Know About Joan Didion

Whether you’re a journo nerd or simply define your aesthetic as “leaning against a white Corvette, cigarette in hand,” Joan Didion has probably touched your life. Now, in the new Netflix doc Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, director Griffin Dunne (Didion’s nephew) brings the literary giant’s life into sharper focus. Here, some choice revelations.

1. Didion and her late husband, author John Gregory Dunne, never turned in pieces without having each other edit them first—including a column Didion wrote for Life detailing a Hawaiian vacation they took “in lieu of filing for divorce.”

2. Many celebs cycled through their Malibu home in the ’70s, including a young Harrison Ford, their carpenter. “I spent a couple of months in their house every day,” he recalls, “explaining why we hadn’t made more progress.”

3. Didion used to require soda in the fridge at all times. “And if anyone took my last Coca-Cola,” she says, “we would have a scene in the kitchen.”

4. While covering the Manson Family trials, Didion cooked dinner for her subject Linda Kasabian, the accomplice who stood lookout during actress Sharon Tate’s murder. “The whole thing was weirdly normal,” she says. “And yet it was not normal at all.”

5. The legendary writer puts her ideas on ice—literally. Says Didion’s editor Shelley Wanger, “If she’s feeling stuck on something, she’ll put it in the freezer... The manuscript, in the freezer, in a bag.”

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