‘TYoMT: The Play’ Now In Hartford, Where “Memories Kept Flooding Back”

In a New York Times article, published on April 22nd, 2009, Joan Didion comments on the news that her play, “The Year of Magical Thinking”, is being performed by TheatreWorks  in Hartford, Connecticut, where her deceased husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne grew up. 

“It was fantastically green,” Ms. Didion, 74, recalled last month in a telephone interview from her Manhattan apartment. “It seemed infinitely comforting, compared with New York.” And sometimes they paid the city unexpectedly long visits, like the time their daughter, Quintana, came down with chicken pox while staying with her grandmother.

“Recently I was driving up past Hartford — I had to go to Dartmouth — and all those memories kept flooding back,” she said.

Didion also commented on the sudden death of Natasha Richardson. 

On the day of this interview, Ms. Didion had just canceled a trip. “I was on my way last weekend to a reading and lecture in Boise, Idaho. Then it turned out that Natasha Richardson died,” she said quietly.

Ms. Richardson, the Tony Award-winning actress, had been taken off life support just two days earlier, and Ms. Redgrave, her mother, was living through what her character had reflected on so eloquently onstage.

The two families, however, had been close long before “The Year of Magical Thinking.” In fact, Ms. Richardson was married — to her first husband, the producer Robert Fox — at the Dunnes’ Upper East Side apartment, where Ms. Didion still lives. A reporter suggested that Ms. Didion’s presence must have been some comfort to Ms. Redgrave and the rest of the family.

“I don’t think there’s any comfort,” she said. Or if there is, “it’s cold comfort.”

Fans will be glad to know that she is keeping extremely busy:

Ms. Didion said she did not expect to be able to attend a performance of the Hartford production, which began on April 17 and runs through May 24, because of work commitments. Her current projects include a movie (Internet sources say it’s an HBObiography of Katharine Graham) [Editor’s note: This is actually incorrect, she is no longer working on that film, see here] and a nonfiction book. Deadlines were imminent.

“I am so far behind that I can hardly cross the street,” she said with what sounded like a smile.

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  1. […] it was Natasha Richardson’s skiiing accident which caused Didion to miss the event. See here. Didion visited Richardson in Lennox Hill Hospital, New York on the night of Wednesday 18th March. […]



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