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Publisher's Summary

Twelve early pieces never before collected that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of Joan Didion.

Mostly drawn from the earliest part of her astonishing five-decade career, the wide-ranging pieces in this collection include Didion writing about a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, a visit to San Simeon and a reunion of WWII veterans in Las Vegas and about topics ranging from Nancy Reagan to Robert Mapplethorpe to Martha Stewart.

Here are subjects Didion has long written about - the press, politics, California robber baronsac, women, the act of writing and her own self-doubt. Each piece is classic Didion: incisive and, in new light, stunningly prescient.

©2021 Joan Didion (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"The peripheral, the specific, the tangible – or, as the writer Hilton Als notes in his foreword, 'the Didion gaze', the penetrating prose of a reporter who writes with a scalpel – is by far the most compelling theme in Didion’s latest collection of essays." (Vogue)

"She writes with a razor." (New York Times)

"A pioneer of New Journalism, she brilliantly chronicled America’s cultural and political life." (Guardian)

What listeners say about Let Me Tell You What I Mean

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  • Nick Rodrigues
  • 26-04-2021

Not a cohesive book

The writing is brilliant, but it doesn't hold together as a book. The topics are too many and they not always fit together. It feels as if this book is forcibly made of great essays but the result is not great.

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