Revered journalist and author Joan Didion died Thursday at her home in New York City due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, her longtime publisher confirmed to ABC News.
She was 87 years old.
Didion was known as one of most incisive writers of her time, penning screenplays, novels and works of nonfiction, including two books about her own personal losses: The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights.
“Joan was a brilliant observer and listener, a wise and subtle teller of truths about our present and future. She was fierce and fearless in her reporting. Her writing is timeless and powerful, and her prose has influenced millions,” her editor, Shelley Wanger, said in a statement.
Wanger added, “We will mourn her death but celebrate her life, knowing that her work will inspire generations of readers and writers to come.”
Born in Sacramento, Didion was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to live in New York City, where she launched her career as a journalist. Her first book, Run River, was published in 1963; other novels included A Book of Common Prayer, Democracy and The Last Thing He Wanted.
The next year, Didion married fellow writer John Gregory Dunne, who became her longtime collaborator. Together, they worked on screenplays for The Panic in Needle Park, Play It As It Lays — based on her novel of the same name — and A Star Is Born, among others. In 1967, they adopted their daughter, Quintana Roo.
Didion was also known for being a prolific essayist who published several works of nonfiction, including Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album, among many others. However, it was her memoir about Dunne’s death, The Year of Magical Thinking, that earned her the National Book Award for Fiction in 2005.
After Quintana Roo died of acute pancreatitis, Didion wrote a companion book, Blue Nights, which was published in 2011. Her latest book, Let Me Tell You What I Mean, came out just this year.
Didion was a 2013 recipient of the National Medal of Arts and Humanities.
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