Among the well-wishers at Joan Didion’s memorial service in New York.
“I know why we try to keep the dead alive,” the actress Vanessa Redgrave said on Wednesday evening, speaking from a lectern at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she was accompanied by her son-in-law, the movie star Liam Neeson. “We try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us.”
The words Ms. Redgrave was speaking were not her own. They belong to Joan Didion, the tiny in size but towering in stature writer who, even before her death last December at 87, had become as much an idea as a person — not just a literary icon but a beacon of intellectual chic, who in 2015 appeared in a Celine campaign.
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