Berkeley Girl in Mississippi
Joan Didion’s month down south
She went down south for a month in 1970. That picture on the back of the book could have been from that time. She had some notion about the Gulf Coast being a forerunner to coastal California. I don’t think she found much support for that theory. But she noticed a lot of things about the South. She felt the humidity every step of the way. Heard the curious way they talked down there. She sought out people’s thoughts on race, of course, like the white owner of a small radio station that played only black music.
She writes about it in her way. She’s very sensitive. One of those skinny girls who always had a sweater in her big purse in case it was too cold for her in the movies. When she sees flat brown Southern rivers she thinks of water moccasins.