One for the Books

A likeness of native daughter Joan Didion is set to take a permanent seat in a fitting setting
Joan Didion Statue

Courtesy of Lisa Reinertson

Nearly a year after Joan Didion passed away, the River City’s most celebrated author is being memorialized in a statue that will be appropriately placed among the books lining the Sacramento Room of the public library’s main branch downtown. The idea for the tribute originated with Didion’s Sacramento City College classmate and longtime friend Maurice Read, and came to fruition with a big assist from developer and former Kings owner Gregg Lukenbill and others. The piece itself was crafted by Lisa Reinertson, a Benicia-based artist who grew up in Sacramento and studied art at UC Davis, and her clay sculpture will be unveiled at the Golden 1 Center on Nov. 10 at a public event celebrating Didion ($50 for general admission or $100 for premium tickets; The statue will be placed at the library shortly thereafter. Then both the city and county plan to proclaim Dec. 5, the writer’s birthday, as Joan Didion Day in Sacramento. Read has also commissioned a bust of Didion as a gift to the City College library, and has fundraised to establish a scholarship in her name for aspiring writers at the school. All hail the literary queen of California.

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