Joan Didion died at her Manhattan home on Thursday morning at the age of 87 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, has confirmed.
Didion, an acclaimed essayist, novelist, and screenwriter, was known for works including Play It As It Lays, The White Album, and her best-selling memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, for which she won the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction.
Didion was known as a pioneer of the New Journalism of the 1960s and 1970s, a style of writing that joined literary writing with reporting.
In the early 1960s, while she worked for Vogue to create promotional and merchandising copy, Didion wrote a number of pieces for National Review, including reviews of novels by Norman Mailer, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene. She also wrote about the “women’s ‘service’ magazines” she read, working to analyze their concerns with female sexual propriety.
“Didion was one of the country’s most trenchant writers and astute observers. Her best-selling works of fiction, commentary, and memoir have received numerous honors and are considered modern classics,” her publisher Penguin Random House said in a statement.
Didion was predeceased by her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and their daughter, Quintana Roo.