American Philosophical Society
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501. Creative Artists[X]
1Name:  Ms. Joan Didion
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1934
 Death Date:  December 23, 2021
Joan Didion was born in Sacramento, California, on December 5, 1934, and in 1956 received a B.A. degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her novels include "Run River," 1963; "Play It as It Lays" (1970); "A Book of Common Prayer" (1977); "Democracy" (1984); and "The Last Thing He Wanted" (1996). Her nonfiction includes "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" (1968); "The White Album" (1978); "Salvador" (1983), "Miami" (1987); "After Henry" (1992); "Political Fictions" (2001); "Fixed Ideas" (2003); "Where I Was From" (2003); and "Blue Nights" (2011). In 1964 she married John Gregory Dunne (May 25, 1932 - December 30, 2003). Their only child, Quintana Roo Dunne, was born March 3, 1966 and died August 26, 2005. Her best selling memoir "The Year of Magical Thinking" (2005) was borne of this blindsiding by death. A dramatic adaption, written by Ms. Didion and starring Vanessa Redgrave, opened on Broadway in 2007. For her "distinctive blend of spare, elegant prose and fierce intelligence," Ms. Didion was honored with the National Book Foundation's 2007 Medal for Distinguished Contribution in American Letters and the 2012 National Humanities Medal.
2Name:  Dr. Daniel Mendelsohn
 Institution:  Bard College
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1960
Daniel Mendelsohn, an award-winning author, journalist, and critic, was born in New York City in 1960 and received his B.A. summa cum laude in Classics from the University of Virginia and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Classics from Princeton University, where he was a Mellon Fellow in the Humanities. After completing his Ph.D. in 1994, he began a career in journalism in New York City, and since then his articles, essays, reviews and translations have appeared frequently in numerous national publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, Esquire, and The Paris Review. From 2000 until 2002, he was the weekly book critic for New York Magazine, for which he won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Excellence in Criticism in 2001. Since 2000, he has been a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books; for his theater reviews in the latter, he was awarded the 2002 George Jean Nathan Prize for Drama Criticism. His book reviews and essays on literary topics appear as well in The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review, and he also writes about travel for Travel + Leisure. His work has been widely anthologized in collections including The Best American Travel Writing, The Mrs. Dalloway Reader, Quick Studies: The Best of Lingua Franca, and - for "Republicans Can Be Cured!", his satirical New York Times Op-Ed piece about the discovery of a gene for political conservatism - Best American Humor. In addition to his other awards, Mr. Mendelsohn is the recipient of a 2005 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Daniel Mendelsohn's 1999 memoir of sexual identity and family history, The Elusive Embrace: Desire and the Riddle of Identity (Knopf, 1999; Vintage, 2000) was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. His scholarly study of Greek tragedy, Gender and the City in Euripides' Political Plays, was published in October 2002 by Oxford University Press, and appeared in February 2005 in paperback. His book The Lost: A Search for Six Million, the story of his search to learn about the fates of family members who perished in the Holocaust, was awarded the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography and France's Prix Medicis, among many other prizes. In August 2008 a collection of his literary and critical essays, How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken, was published by Harper Collins. Spring of 2009 saw the publication of his new translations, with commentary, of the Complete Works of C.P. Cavafy, and of Cavafy's Unfinished Poems (Knopf). Waiting for the Barbarians (2012) was a finalist for the NBCC award in criticism and the PEN Art of the Essay prize. In 2014 he was awarded the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2020 he published Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate.
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