Redux: Joan Didion, William Faulkner, and Matthew Zapruder

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It was very flat, flatter than most people can imagine, and I still favor flat horizons. There were two rivers, and these rivers would flood in the winter and run dry in the summer. “The Werewolf,” by William Faulkner
Issue no. Winter was cold rain and tulle fog. It so happens that if you’re a writer the extremes show up. Summer was 100 degrees, 105 degrees, 110 degrees. The weather in Sacramento was as extreme as the landscape. The driveway which leads up to the house is dirt, marred by deep ruts and holes; and on each side grow tangled brambles of honeysuckle and blackberry thickets. Every week, the editors of   The Paris Review   lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. Joan Didion, The Art of Fiction No. Those extremes affect the way you deal with the world. The house cannot be seen from the street, but at the end of the driveway, it looms big, and white, and beautiful. You can have these unlocked   pieces delivered straight to your inbox every   Sunday by   signing up for the Redux newsletter. Sacramento was a very extreme place. Order now, and you’ll get a copy of our new   anthology,   Women at Work,   for only $10 more. 193 (Summer 2010)
I heard a little cough
in the room, and turned
but no one was there
except the flowers
Sarah bought me
and my death’s head
glow in the dark key chain
that lights up and moans
when I press the button
on top of its skull
and the ghost
I shyly name Aglow …
If you like what you read,   get a year of   The Paris Review—four new issues, plus instant access to everything we’ve ever published. 79 (Spring 1981)
The house stands far off Old Taylor Road in Oxford, Mississippi, hidden behind long rows of tall cedar trees. “Come On All You Ghosts,” by   Matthew Zapruder
Issue no.  

To celebrate the release of the Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, we bring you our 1978 Art of Fiction interview with the writer—plus a Halloween ghost story from William Faulkner and a haunted poem by Matthew Zapruder. It looks as if it has been there forever, its two story wooden frame rising so high that the second story balcony looks into the very tops of the cedar trees. I think people are more affected than they know by landscapes and weather. 74 (Fall–Winter 1978)
I grew up in a dangerous landscape. They don’t if you sell insurance. 71
Issue no.