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  • Brigitte Lacombe

Joan Didion could never make a baby, but she sure has made a lot of books. They just keep shooting out of her—out of those giant hands. The writing in her earliest nonfiction books (1968's Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1979's The White Album, 1992's After Henry) is so powerful, it's as if nature made it, as if it came from the sky, as if it's part lightning.

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But being a mother didn't come nearly as naturally. In 1966, a baby was handed to her, was adopted, and was raised "as a doll," Didion admits in her new memoir...

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