Joan’s nephew, Griffin Dunne, made the documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold in 2017. To raise funds for the film those who pledged $50 or more to the crowdfunding effort received a copy of her personal cookbook.
As the Guardian described it, the cookbook was really “a scrapbook of food clippings from magazines, menus of the meals she served at dinner parties (for Patti Smith she made chicken hash with roasted yellow peppers and baguettes) and food-stained recipes, handwritten, with terse crossing-outs, its most revealing page was the recipe for a parsley salad, less as an illustration of her diet, or even for the way its sparse style reflects her prose, but more as an insight into her social reach: the salad feeds up to 40.” In other words, it was the best kind of cookbook.
Joan Didion with her daughter, Quintana Roo, and her husband, John Gregory Dunne, at their Malibu home in California in 1972 (photo courtesy of The New York Times).
She was the best.