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Play It As It Lays


January 1, 1970

Publication Date: 


FSG Classics


With an introduction by film critic and historian David Thomson. Play It as It Lays was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Best Novels.

A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Joan Didion's Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil—literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul—it remains more than four decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.

There hasn't been another American writer of Joan Didion’s quality since Nathanel West…A terrifying book.

—John Leonard, The New York Times

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