“I have never started a novel — I mean, except the first, when I was starting a novel just to start a novel — I’ve never written one without rereading Victory [byJoseph Conrad]. It opens up the possibilities of a novel. It makes it seem worth doing.”JOAN DIDION

Note: VICTORY by Joseph Conrad is available free in a variety of versions (including Kindle) at Project Gutenberg. Find it here. Conrad scholar Debra Romanick called the book, originally published in 1916, “…a highly complex allegorical work whose psychological landscape and narrative structure set the groundwork for the modern novel…”

Happy belated birthday to one of our writing heroes, Joan Didion, who turned 79 on December 5, 2013.