About Us

Friday, June 1

Joan Didion Joins Us For Writers on A New England Stage

Writers on a New England Stage, the celebrated author series presented by The Music Hall and New Hampshire Public Radio, presents Joan Didion on Tuesday, June 19.  Ms. Didion, the National Book Award winner and author of The Year Of Magical Thinking, joins us with her memoir Blue Nights, just out in paperback.

“Joan Didion is one of the greatest writers of our time, a keen and canny observer of our worlds - the political, social and personal.  She is a stand-out in the realms of literature, screenwriting, and journalism, and I am tremendously honored to host her in Writers a New England Stage,” said Executive Producer Patricia Lynch.

About the Book

Richly textured with memories from her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion is an intensely personal and moving account of her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness and growing old. As she reflects on her daughter’s life and on her role as a parent, Didion grapples with the candid questions that all parents face, and contemplates her age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.

Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profound.

Following her onstage presentation about her book and her writing life, Ms. Didion will be interviewed by Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.” Live music will be provided by the house band Dreadnaught.

About the Author


Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California, and now lives in New York City. She is the author of five novels including Play it as it Lays (which also became a movie) and A Book of Common Prayer. Didion has published eight previous books of nonfiction, including The Year of Magical Thinking, which earned the National Book Award in 2005. Her first work of nonfiction, a collection of essays titled Slouching Toward Bethelem, was published in 1968. Her collected nonfiction, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, was published by Everyman’s Library in 2006.

Book Clubs and High School Guests of The Music Hall

For each Writers event, The Music Hall welcomes local book clubs to take part in a drawing to meet the author backstage, where they attend a private book signing/reception.  For more information on how to join the Writers on a New England Stage book club list and participate in the drawing, */. Also, as part of its Explore + Learn educational program, The Music Hall hosts local high school students selected by their teachers, who come free of charge to the event and get an opportunity to meet the author. Interested high school and middle school teachers can .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Tickets and Signed Books

Tickets to Writers on a New England Stage: Joan Didion are $13 ($11 for members of The Music Hall and NH Public Radio), available through The Music Hall Box Office, located at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, over the phone at 603-436-2400 or online. Autographed copies of Blue Nights are $13.50 (hardcover) when reserved in advance through the purchase of a voucher through The Music Hall box office. Signed books can be purchased on the evening for the full retail price of $15.00.

About the 2011-2012 Writers on a New England Stage series


Writers on a New England Stage was created by executive producer Patricia Lynch, also executive director of The Music Hall, and is presented with New Hampshire Public Radio in collaboration with Yankee magazine and companion bookstore RiverRun, in Portsmouth, NH. Since 2005, the series has spotlighted a broad range of celebrated authors including Mitch Albom, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Dan Brown, Isabel Allende, Stephen King, Ann Patchett, E.L. Doctorow, Madeleine Albright, the late John Updike, Wally Lamb, Jodi Picoult, David McCullough, and Cokie Roberts, among many others. Each author’s presentation is followed by an interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.”  Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. The live shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio. Authors coming to Writers on a New England Stage in the months ahead: Chris Cleave, the author of Little Bee, visits with his new book Gold on July 25; and Salman Rushdie takes the stage to discuss his memoir Joseph Anton on October 10.

Writers on a New England Stage Series Sponsors:


Auger Building Company, Inc.
Calypso Communications
New England Audio Tech, LLC
Piscataqua Landscaping Company Incorporated
RMC Research Corporation
Haunted Milk Design

Music Hall Season Sponsor

River House Restaurant

' news_overview_image='http://www.themusichall.org/assets/uploads/images/12_06_Joan_Didion_event.jpg' }