I Read Myself Stories in Order to Live

"We tell ourselves stories in order to live," says Joan Didion in her essay "The White Album." This quote also happens to be the most cliche way to begin talking about Joan Didion, a problem that I hope to avoid during our upcoming conversation at Hartford Stage on Thursday. That's right. All this noise I was making about Judy Blume-- because I knew she was coming for so much longer, and also because it was first, and also because the venue was larger-- has finally subsided and made way for the glimmering jewel of my year, which is interviewing my favorite writer of all time. Joan Didion has had  a huge influence on my style and subject matter, particularly when I was at Bennington, so I couldn't be more thrilled to speak to her.

Small problem: I did not start my planned Didion-a-thon when I was supposed to. In fact, I lazily strolled through Run, River for two weeks. Now I have fifteen more books to read. In three days.

Today I finished Run, River, then read Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It as It Lays, and A Book of Common Prayer. I'll read myself to sleep with The White Album. They were all weird and amazing, and they all feature very skinny women who are numb in one way or another.

Then I will attempt to read 5 books a day on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I haven't read this much since college and I don't know if it's possible. Part of me wants to give up. But another part of my knows this is my only chance.

So here I go-- reading myself these stories in order to live through this interview.

-- Julia