One of the most highly regarded chroniclers of postwar American history, as well as a celebrated novelist and screenwriter, Joan Didion examined the country's cultural upheavals through precise, unflinching reportage of life in Southern California in such acclaimed works as <i>Slouching Towards Bethlehem</i> (1968), <i>The White Album</i> (1979) and <i>After Henry</i> (1992), as well as the novels <i>Play It As It Lays</i> (1970) and <i>Where I Was From</i> (2003). Didion's observations on California and America as a whole contrasted the golden ideal of the Golden State's past with its convoluted, often fractured present while also detailing her own personal issues, which were intertwined within the narrative. Her approach made her a key figure in the "New Journalism" movement, which filtered the author's feelings and experiences through the context of their subjects. Didion's potent voice also spawned a successful screenwriting career with her husband, author John Gregory Dunne, for such films as "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971), "A Star is Born" (1976) and "Up Close & Personal" (1996). Dunne's death and their daughter's illness in 2003 later inspired her most personal work, <i>The Year of Magical Thinking</i> (2005), which became a Broadway play in 2007. Didion's extraordinary body of work, detailed over a five-decade career, made her one of the most acclaimed American writers of the late 20th century and beyond.