Joan Didion Helped Me Tell My Own Story

Her Language and Landscapes Carved Out a Literary Space for My San Bernardino Childhood

When I arrived at Stanford, I was immediately confronted with the clues of my inferiority.

The other students had straight white teeth, more than one week’s worth of clothing, and “pocket money.” All I had was a load of imposter syndrome (though the term had yet to be popularized in the early ’70s), a suitcase of clothes, a box of books, a guitar, and stories; stories about the people I grew up with, and my large extended family in California and Mexico.

My stories about where I lived, or the race riots …

California’s Next Joan Didion Can Sing | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Next Joan Didion Can Sing

Phoebe Bridgers Offers an Homage to, and an Improvement on, the Classic Golden State Interpreter

California’s next Joan Didion might be an improvement on the original.

For one thing, she can sing.

Phoebe Bridgers, a brilliant and versatile 26-year-old musician and songwriter, isn’t just contending for four …