Fashion-savvy literary enthusiasts everywhere are abuzz with the news that prolific writer Joan Didion is the new face of Céline. The 80-year-old author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968) and Play It As It Lays (1970), most recently wrote The Year of Magical Thinking, a 2005 memoir for which she won the National Book Award.
A New Yorker, Didion began her career as an associate feature editor at Vogue. In 1961, she wrote an essay for the magazine about self-respect, saying:
To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.
During her time at Vogue, Didion found a happy balance between the fashion and literary worlds. Those worlds have come together again through this Céline ad.
You can read Joan Didion’s full essay on self-respect at vogue.com