Jessica Mann

‘Life Changes Fast’

The Year of Magical Thinking

By

Fourth Estate 227pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

When I Grow Up

By

Little Brown 229pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

‘All my life I have harboured a sneaking assurance that God, or whoever is in charge of these things, would not take me in mid-sentence,’ Bernice Rubens wrote, and her confidence was justified. When God, or whoever is in charge of these things, did take a writer in mid-sentence it was not Rubens but John Gregory Dunne. He was sitting in an armchair by the fire with a drink; his wife, the writer Joan Didion, was cooking dinner. ‘John was talking and then he wasn’t.’ Joan saw he was sitting motionless, his left hand raised. At first she thought he was joking. Then she realised he was dead. ‘Life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends,’ Didion realised, and the words became her oft-repeated refrain.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,