Lili Anolik Thinks Joan Didion Is Being Misread

By Dianna Dilworth 

Author Lili Anolik thinks that readers have gotten Joan Didion all wrong.

In a piece in Vanity Fair this month, she argues that Didion’s rise as an icon is “not just wrong, egregiously wrong, wrong to the point of blasphemy.” Check it out:

I’m talking about the canonization of Didion, Didion as St. Joan, Didion as Our Mother of Sorrows. Didion is not, let me repeat, not a holy figure, nor is she a maternal one. She’s cool-eyed and cold-blooded, and that coolness and coldness—chilling, of course, but also bracing—is the source of her fascination as much as her artistry is; the source of her glamour too, and her seductiveness, because she is seductive, deeply. What she is is a femme fatale, and irresistible. She’s our kiss of death, yet we open our mouths, kiss back.