This is a good one for the religion file. It’s a big quote-heavy, narratively speaking, but the voice is quietly companionable, intelligent, sympathetic but detached—a good narrative voice. Writing for a Buddhist magazine, Swick is clearly oriented toward his particular audience, and yet the lens is also wide, concerning universal themes. He approaches these themes—weighty ones such as death and impermanence—with a sort of graceful gravitas. And we readers get an unusual and intimate view of a remarkable writer.

Read “The Zen of Joan Didion,” by David Swick

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