Noted writer Joan Didion to speak at Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum

Noted writer Joan Didion to speak at Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum

Joan Didion, one of the country's most revered writers, will appear in the Open VISIONS Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. Open VISIONS Forum is a program of University College at Fairfield University.

An important writer about American life, Didion's talent canvasses many forms. She is known as a novelist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and journalist. Her new book is entitled, "We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction."

Born in 1934 in Sacramento, Calif., Didion has been praised by critics for her prose, personal observations and political criticism. She contributes to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. She is the author of five novels, including "Run River" and "Play It As It Lays," and eight books of non-fiction. Other noteworthy works include "Slouching Towards Bethlehem," "The White Album," and "Salvador." She co-wrote numerous screenplays with her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, including "The Panic in Needle Park," and "A Star is Born."

Ms. Didion's book, "The Year of Magical Thinking," published in 2005, was one of her most noteworthy, receiving the National Book Award for non-fiction, widespread critical praise and best-seller status. It dealt with Didion's experience of losing Dunne, who passed away suddenly in 2003. They had been married since 1964.

The lecture will take place in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Didion's appearance is part of an exciting collaboration between Fairfield University and Pequot Library, a branch of the Fairfield Public Library. The collaboration will examine Didion's work and include an array of festivities. Last year, Fairfield University and Pequot Library first collaborated on a series of programs in the Open VISIONS program. John Irving and Isabele Allende were featured authors.

Daniel Snydacker, executive director of the Pequot Library, said, "This collaboration between two of the finest cultural institutions in the region is a natural. The collaboration will extend the audience of both and increase awareness of their wonderful programs throughout the community."

The Pequot Library ( programs include a screening Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Theater in Fairfield of the film, "True Confessions," co-written by Didion and Dunne. This series will conclude on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. with a presentation and discussion of Didion's work by Professor Johanna X.K. Garvey, chair of the Department of English at Fairfield University, at Pequot Library.

Philip Eliasoph, Ph. D., the director and moderator of Open VISIONS Forum, said that Ms. Didion is one of the great American writers of the 20th and 21st centuries. "Joan Didion is an important chronicler and acute observer of the people, politics and culture of our country. Her personal essays explore humanity with a keen eye. At the same time, she is not afraid to open her heart and share her own experiences."

Although tickets to the lecture are sold out, tickets, with premium seating for the lecture and to attend a special Patron's pre-lecture dinner buffet in honor of Didion, are available. For info on joining this special Patron's event to benefit both Open VISIONS Forum and Pequot Library please contact Elizabeth Hastings at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688.

Posted On: 09-26-2006 10:09 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 37