Didion, Joan

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Didion, Joan Gender: F
born on 5 December 1934 at 17:55 (= 5:55 PM )
Place Sacramento, California, 38n35, 121w30
Timezone PST h8w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Wilsons
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 13°16' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 04°43 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 01°31'

Joan Didion
photo: David Shankbone, license gfdl


American novelist, journalist, and screenwriter whose writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the '60s and the Hollywood lifestyle. Her political writing often concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric. In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography for The Year of Magical Thinking. She later adapted the book into a play, which premiered on Broadway in 2007.

Her first book, Run, River was published in 1963; she also wrote for magazines as a freelancer. She wrote best sellers, Play It As It Lays in 1970, and A Book Of Common Prayer in 1977. She collaborated on screenplays, Panic In Needle Park in 1971, and A Star Is Born in 1975.

A fifth-generation Californian, Didion was born in Sacramento and raised in the great central plain of California, an area she often describes nostalgically in her work. As an undergraduate English major at UC Berkeley she won an essay sponsored by Vogue magazine. As a result, Vogue hired her, and for eight years she lived in New York City, while she rose to associate features editor. She wrote her first novel, Run, River, in 1963.

On 30 January 1964 she married John Gregory Dunne and they returned to California, where they remained for twenty-five years, collaborating on screenplays and meeting everyone in the film business. Working as a writing team, she and Dunne took eight years and 27 drafts to script Up Close and Personal, the screenplay about newswoman Jessica Savitch. On 30 March 1966 they adopted an infant daughter whom they named Quintana Roo.

Intensely individualistic, Didion made a point of avoiding psychoanalysis and women's groups.

Didion focused her trenchant powers of observation in two documentary, book-length studies: Salvador (1983) and Miami (1987). In 1996 she published the political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted, her first novel in 12 years, having devoted her time to screenplays.

Didion’s husband, John Gregory Dunne, died on 30 December 2003 of a heart attack. Five days prior their only daughter, photographer Quintana Roo Dunne Michael, had been hospitalized with pneumonia and fell into a coma from septic shock. Quintana Roo recovered but suffered a brain hematoma shortly thereafter, followed months later by a bout of acute pancreatitis. Didion in her grief for her husband, and in an attempt to cope with her daughter's illness, began to write The Year of Magical Thinking on 4 October 2004 and it was published a year later in October 2005. A few months prior to its release, her only child Quintana Roo died on 26 August 2005 in New York City of complications from an abdominal infection.

In 2017, Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne. Joan Didion died from Parkinson's disease at her home in Manhattan on 23 December 2021 at the age of 87.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • has other family relationship with Dunne, Dominick (born 29 October 1925). Notes: Siblings-in-law


  • Relationship : Marriage 30 January 1964 (John Gregory Dunne)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Adopted a child 30 March 1966 (Infant daughter)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Mental Health : Anxiety attack 1968 (Nervous breakdown)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1996 (First novel in 12 years)
  • Death of Mate 30 December 2003 (John Gregory Dunne, heart attack)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released October 2005 ("The Year of Magical Thinking")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Disease 23 December 2021 (Parkinson's disease, age 87)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from the Wilsons (Same in Contemporary American Horoscopes, Gauquelin Book of American Charts)


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Multiple Sclerosis
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Parkinson's (Terminal)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Headaches, severe (Chronic migraines)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Nervous Breakdown
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (First of two)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted (John Gregory Dunne)
  • Family : Relationship : Widowed
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids (One adopted daughter)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids -Traumatic event (Death of daughter)
  • Personal : Death : Illness/ Disease (Parkinson's disease)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 87)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Biographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Vocation : Writers : Magazine/ newsletter ("Vogue")
  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Literary)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection