The Year of Magical Thinking By Joan Didion
In this taut, clear-eyed memoir of grief, Didion chronicles the year following the death of her husband, fellow writer John Gregory Dunne, from a massive heart attack on Dec. 30, 2003, while the couple's only daughter, Quintana, lay unconscious in a nearby hospital suffering from pneumonia and septic shock. Dunne and Didion had lived and worked side by side for nearly 40 years, and Dunne's death propelled Didion into a state she calls "magical thinking." "We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss," she writes. "We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes."