Author Joan Didion has always walked the line between first-person journalism and soul-scraping memoir writing in her essays. She chronicled a late-60s nervous breakdown in The White Album as well as covering everything from Cuban refugees to Patty Hearst. But for her 2005 book The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion took readers through a Job-like stretch of tribulation. Right before her husband, writer and critic John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack, their daughter Quintana slipped into septic shock following a bout of pneumonia. Didions narratives on grief have been turned into a one-woman play of the same name for the Repertory Theatres Studio Theatre series, featuring Fontaine Syer in the lead role. The Year of Magical Thinking opens at 8 p.m Wednesday, January 12, at the Emerson Studio Theatre in the Loretto-Hilton Center(130 Edgar Road; 314-968-4925 or www.repstl.org) and runs Tuesday through Sunday through January 30. Tickets are $44 to $56.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 12. Continues through Jan. 30, 2011