Joan Didion Quotes

Most popular Joan Didion Quotes

Grammar is a piano I play by ear.


Writers are always selling somebody out.


We tell ourselves stories in order to live.


To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.

the self jealousy

California is a place in which a boom mentality and a sense of Chekhovian loss meet in uneasy suspension.


Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.

self-respect responsibility character

I...have another cup of coffee with my mother.  We get along very well, veterans of a guerilla war we never understand.

personal mothers and daughters

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.


To free ourselves from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.


New York was no mere city. It was instead an infinitely romantic notion, the mysterious nexus of all love and money and power, the shining and perishable dream itself.

New York City

Writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind.  It's an aggressive, even a hostile act.


Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself.