PositiveVoxFor an author as obsessed with meaning as Didion, that title is a revealing double entendre, and one that seems to hang on that moment at Berkeley in 1975. She is telling us what she means, as she told that standing-room-only audience. And she is also telling us what she means, here in 2021, after decades of being one of America’s most admired, most argued-over writers ... Some essays in the collection feel very personal, like Didion’s remembrance of friend, director, and producer Tony Richardson ... it feels more like an appendix or an album of B-sides to Didion’s oeuvre than a fully fleshed-out new entry. Scholars and avid readers of Didion will not find new information here. But it’s a worthy collection nonetheless because it works like a skeleton key to unlock Didion’s continued significance in American culture ... Saying things, then clarifying them, is evidence of Didion’s precision, her need to make sure she reveals only what she wants to and not a bit more, that the words she chooses do exactly what she means for them to do.
PositiveVoxDavis illustrates her story simply; her pen-and-ink drawings render Hannah’s world in black and white, which feels like an echo of Hannah’s inner life. She is struggling to determine whether the world is stark and binary, either good or bad, or whether there are shades of gray ... Throughout, Davis subtly hints at a tension between Hannah’s idyllic, almost Eden-like existence in the woods with Johnny and the outside world, which threatens their loving harmony ... The Hard Tomorrow makes me feel understood, and it’s a reminder that even if everything is awful, much is beautiful. The world renews itself, over and over. Spring, at least, will come. We keep going.