Joan Didion to adapt memoir about husband's death into play

Writer Joan Didion is preparing to turn her recent best-selling memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking," about the death of her husband and daughter's ultimately fatal illness, into a play, according to a published report.

Didion told The New York Times for a story on its Web site Monday that she has agreed to write a one-woman adaptation with hopes of staging a production in the spring of 2007. She said the play will be produced by Scott Rudin, who approached her with the idea, and directed by British playwright David Hare.

Didion said she was surprised when Rudin suggested the idea but was looking forward to writing the play. "Magical Thinking," which has sold more than 200,000 copies and won a National Book Award, chronicles the painful period of Didion's life following the fatal heart attack of her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in 2003. Their daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne Michael, was hospitalized at the time with pneumonia and septic shock.

Didion finished the book at the end of 2004, and it was published by Alfred A. Knopf in October 2005, two months after her daughter died. Hare told the Times he believes Didion's account will make a worthy play. Rudin said he hopes to take the play to Broadway, AP reports.

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