The archives of the late Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, spanning from letters and wedding pictures to manuscripts and screenplay drafts, have been acquired by the New York Public Library.
“The Library is thrilled to announce that our outstanding research collections will now include the archive of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, iconic voices of postwar American journalism, fiction, and screenwriting,” Declan Kiely, the library’s director of Special Collections and Exhibitions, said in a statement Friday.
Didion and Dunne were married from 1964 until his death in 2003. They were among the world’s most prominent literary couples and the letters in their archives include correspondence with Jacqueline Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Nora Ephron and former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, childhood friend of Didion’s who spoke at her memorial last year.
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Authors Joan Didion, left, and her husband, John Dunne, appear in their Malibu home in Dec. 1977. New York Public Library’s Didion-Dunne archives will include manuscripts, screenplay drafts, and wedding pictures. (AP Photo, File)
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“We anticipate that the Didion and Dunne papers, once processed, will become one of our most heavily used collections and an essential resource for scholars, students, and those interested in their intensely collaborative life and work,” Kiely’s statement said.
Didion was known for the novels “Play It as It Lays” and “A Book of Common Prayer,” such classic essay collections as “The White Album” and “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and for her memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking,” in which she writes about mourning Dunne.
Dunne’s books included the nonfiction Hollywood account “Studio” and the novel “True Confessions.” He and Didion also collaborated on several screenplays, including “The Panic in Needle Park” and the 1976 remake of “A Star Is Born.”
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