A Literary Marriage
“I did not always think he was right nor did he always think I was right but we were each the person the other trusted.”
Meet Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne
Before Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne joined together as writing and romantic partners, the two grew up on opposite sides of the country. They met in the late 1950s while working as writers in New York City—she at Vogue, he at Time. They married in 1964 and began a four-decades-long partnership, writing together, collaborating on screenplays, and editing each other’s work. Over the course of their marriage, the Didion Dunnes called both coasts home, wrote multiple books, essays, and screenplays, and raised their daughter, Quintana Roo.
John Gregory Dunne’s Princeton Yearbook photo.
Joan Didion in New York City in 1958, working as a writer at Vogue.
Joan Didion in 1964 at Portuguese Bend, Palos Verdes, California. Photograph by Dominick Dunne. Souce: Bancroft Library
John Gregory Dunne in 1964.
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne on their wedding day. They were married on January 30, 1964 at the Mission San Juan Bautista in San Benito Country, California.
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne in 1966 at the christening of their daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne. Photo by Dominick Dunne.
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne in 1967 visiting Alcatraz Prison, which Didion wrote about in her essay, ”Rock of Ages.” Photo by Ted Streshinsk.
A 1968 photo of Joan Didion in Los Angeles, taken by Julian Wasser for the publication of Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne at the Royal Hawaiian in 1969.
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne at work in Trancas, California, in 1972. Source: Henry Clarke/The Condé Nast Archive.
From a Vogue photo shoot: a photo of Joan Didion, Quintana Roo Dunne, John Gregory Dunne, and Tony Dunne on the beach in Malibu. Source: Henry Clarke/The Condé Nast Archive.
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne on the set of True Confessions in 1980. Photo by United Artists.
Portrait of John Gregory Dunne by Nancy Ellison.
Portrait of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne by Patrick Downs for The Los Angeles Times.
“Because we were both writers and both worked at home our days were filled with the sound of each other’s voice.”
From The Year of Magical Thinking