Joan Didion writes 'Blue Nights' as a way to mourn her daughter's passing

joan-didion-blue-nights.jpgAuthor Joan Didion has a new book on the shelves, titled "Blue Nights." It is a collection of her memories regarding her daughter Quintana's life and death. Quintana passed away in 2005 at the age of 39 after some complications arose during a bout with pneumonia.

Didion tells NPR that she didn't really start mourning her daughter until she began writing the book. "I didn't actually want to write it. I had some dim idea that it was a much less personal book than it turned out to be," says Didion.

Didion writes in the book of how she didn't really know how to be a mother and didn't start regarding her daughter as a real person until Quintana was in her teens. It did not go unnoticed by Quintana.

"She, to my surprise, said, 'You were okay, but you were a little remote,'" says Didion. "That was a very frank thing for her to say, and I recognized myself in it."

Didion says the writing of "Blue Nights" kept her in five years immersed in death and mourning and now she is ready to tackle something new.

"I'm feeling very strongly the need to do something in another vein. I don't know what that vein will be, but I want to find it," says Didion.

"Blue Nights" is on bookshelves and available for download now.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images, Knopf publishing