Every Picture Tells a Story

My latest piece has gone up at http://www.firstofthemonth.org/every-picture-tells-a-story/

It begins…

In the summer of 1970, at about the time of the release of her novel “Play It As It Lays,” Joan Didion spent a month driving through the Gulf Coast states with her husband John Gregory Donne hoping to discover a magazine piece to write. In 1976, “Rolling Stone” sent Didion to San Francisco, hoping she would report on Patty Hearst’s trial. Neither hope materialized into publication. Now Knopf, in “South and West,” has issued selections of notes Didion took and passages she drafted on these trips. The bulk, 102 versus 13 pages, come from the first.