Literary Soundtracks: Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
by Kat Neis
Today, our playlist is inspired by Joan Didion's novel, Play It As It Lays, originally published in 1970. The novel centers on Maria Wyeth, a woman in the 1970s confined in a psychiatric hospital. What unfolds in Maria’s history is somehow both comforting and alienating, baffling and yet still incredibly knowable. I found myself drawn to soundscapes that seemed reminiscent of California, where the novel takes place, and although perhaps a bit too ‘on the nose,’ I couldn’t resist the gauzy alienation and desperation that drives both the music of Lana Del Rey and the intonations of Maria Wyeth.
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We’re revisiting our archives today—this post originally appeared on our website in August 2015.