JOAN DIDION’S, “BLUE NIGHTS.”

Back in the late 1990’s I read an article in “The New Yorker,” by Joan Didion in which she convincingly made the case that what the Hemingway estate and the publishers were doing with Hemingways’ unpublished novels and half written novels was quite distasteful. If Hemingway when alive wanted those unpublished novels, published, he easily could have, but he didn’t feel they were ready or up to his standards. To have other writers edit the unpublished novels, and finish the half written novels and then publish them as though Hemingway approved of the edits, and would be happy with someone else writing the final chapters of his incomplete novels is morally wrong and a disservice to a writer who was so disciplined when it came to his writing. It was all about making more money off the Hemingway name, and whereas literary scholars should be allowed to look at his unpublished novels and pieces of the other novels, they should not be published as books by Hemingway but, if published at all, as a collection of Hemingways incomplete works.

I bring this article up after reading Mrs Didion’s brilliant novel, “Blue Nights.” Hemingway always said that the most important thing for a writer to strive for is ‘honesty,’ in every sentence and paragraph he or she writes. “Blue Nights,” is one of the most honest pieces of writing I have every read. The author writes about her daughter, Quintana Roo, who passed away at a very young age, 32, shortly after her father passed away. The author takes us on an emotional journey that revisits many aspects of her daughter’s life and in conjunction gives us a personal account and thoughts on motherhood, the illnesses that affected her family, friends, and herself and on growing old.

This is a very powerful book written by one of the great American writers of the second half of the 20th century. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

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