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The Library of Joan Didion

As one would imagine, Joan Didion’s Upper East Side apartment was full of books. Built-in bookcases covered whole walls in most of the rooms, acknowledging the central importance of literature, poetry, current events and the intellectual curiosity of the apartment’s inhabitants. The library of Joan Didion contains books by authors she admired, books that were sent to her by publishers for a possible review, books she read for pleasure and for work, and books that were given to her as gifts by friends and other writers. Didion also had a large and formidable collection of books on art, photography and popular culture. Many of her well-worn and annotated books are now housed in the Joan Didion/John Gregory Dunne Archive which contains all the material from her office and library that is germane to her literary career.

An American Icon: Property from the Collection of Joan Didion offers over sixty-five lots of books from the Library of Joan Didion. Highlights include copies of Didion’s own books from her personal library, signed first edition books by Joan Didion and John Dunne, group lots of books by her favorite authors, a group of Didion’s most favorite books, and books signed and dedicated to Didion by various writers. Art-related books include three lots of early illustrated books by Ed Ruscha, and books on various contemporary artists and photographers. Poetry was central to Didion’s life, represented in the sale by multiple group lots of poetry books including a lot of poetry by women poets. Socio-political writing is represented by groups of books on the 1960s and Vietnam, the Kennedys, and presidents from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Also included are cookbooks from Didion’s kitchen, including well-used copies of Creole cookbooks and cookbooks focused on American and California cuisine.

All the books being offered contain a bookplate from the Library of Joan Didion.

Time & Location

An American Icon: Property from the Collection of Joan Didion on November 16 at 11am

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