Discussion Questions for “The Year of Magical Thinking”

I found some good discussion questions over at Book Browse.com.  Please take a moment to leave your answer with us.  Make sure to note which question you are answering. 

1.  Consider the four sentences in italics that begin chapter one. What did you think when you read them for the first time? What do you think now?

2.  Discuss the notion of “magical thinking.” Have you ever experienced anything like this, after a loss or some other life-changing occurrence? How did it help, or hinder, your healing?

3.  Consider the tone Didion uses throughout the book, one of relatively cool detachment. Clearly she is in mourning, and yet her anguish is quite muted. How did this detached tone affect your reading experience?

4.  One word critics have used again and again in describing this book is “exhilarating.” Did you find it to be so? Why, or why not?

 5.  Discuss Didion’s repetition of sentences like “For once in your life just let it go”; “We call it the widowmaker”; “I tell you that I shall not live two days”; and “Life changes in the instant.” What purpose does the repetition serve? How did your understanding of her grief change each time you reread one of these sentences?

6.  Didion is adapting The Year of Magical Thinking into a play bound for Broadway. How do you imagine its transition from page to stage? Would you want to see the play?

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