Friday, March 9, 2012

On Refusing to Read Joan Didion's "Blue Nights"

As the mother of daughters, Metroland columnist Jo Page, who shares the stage with Margot Livesey on 3/20, meditates on her own refusal to read Joan Didion's excruciatingly painful book, Blue Nights (2011), about the death of her daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne.

".... I will not be reading Blue Nights for more reasons than the obvious one: that the subject matter is brutally sad. It’s more complicated than that and more personal. I’m a mother watching the slow ascent into adulthood of my two daughters and I find it a difficult and sometimes heart-wrenching job."

"In parenting—or at least in mothering—there are always two constants: fear for your child’s welfare and doubt about whether or not you are doing a good job in loving them and raising them. These twinned constants—fear and doubt—are absolute states. Why I ever thought this would lessen as they grew up I have no idea." More.