I Write to Find Out What I am Thinking

I Write to Find Out What I am Thinking

Collected Non Fiction


This hardcover omnibus edition of Didion's collected nonfiction contains her final four books: Blue Nights, South and West, Let Me Tell You What I Mean, and her bestselling and most famous work, The Year of Magical Thinking In her essay “Why I Write” (included in this volume), Joan Didion explained what lies behind her iconic nonfiction writing: "I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” Across her long and prolific career, readers have been blessed time and again by her brilliance as a prose stylist and a social commentator. Form her unforgettable reckonings with grief (for her husband in The Year of Magical Thinking and for her daughter in Blue Nights), to her exploration of two iconic regions of America in South and West, through the indelible pieces of reporting collected from across her career in Let Me Tell You What I Mean, the books collected here show Didion at her best: bearing witness to our history, illuminating our culture, and shedding light on the human condition.


  • A sentence by Didion, whether it sticks to 39 characters or articulates possibilities in multiple dependent clauses, is always a marvel of magical thinking.
    The Guardian

About the author

Joan Didion

JOAN DIDION (1934–2021) was born in Sacramento, California. After
graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, Didion moved to New York and began working for Vogue. She went on to write five novels and ten nonfiction books, as well as co-authoring screenplays with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, for ‘The Panic in Needle Park’, ‘Play It as It Lays’, and ‘A Star is Born’, among others. Her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. In 2007, she was awarded the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American
Letters. In 2013, she was awarded a National Medal of Arts and Humanities by President Barack Obama, and the PEN Centre USA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more