After the Sensational Auction of Her Estate, Joan Didion’s Home of More Than 30 Years Has Quietly Entered the Market for $7.5 Million
The beloved author wrote several critically acclaimed works inside the Upper East Side apartment.
Artnet News, February 2, 2023Author Joan Didion in her Upper East Side apartment. Photo by Neville Elder/Corbis Sygma via Getty Images.
Following the blockbuster auction of Joan Didion’s estate in November, one large piece of the beloved author’s holdings remained unaccounted for. What was to become of her Upper East Side apartment, where she resided for over 30 years?
That question has now, partly, been answered. About a week ago, on January 27, the spacious four-bedroom co-op was quietly listed for sale. The home—located in one of the “most prestigious residential addresses in New York City,” according to the listing agent, Sotheby’s International Realty—comes with a price tag of $7.5 million.
Joan Didion wrote several critically acclaimed works inside the unit, including The Year of Magical Thinking, which chronicled her grief following the sudden death of her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, in 2003. Didion adapted the memoir for the stage, which debuted on Broadway in 2007, starring Vanessa Redgrave.
It was in this apartment, too, that she spoke candidly about her extraordinary life and career for the 2017 documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne.
Didion and Dunne purchased the corner apartment in the limestone-faced building in 1988. They considered the spot on 71st Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, a block from Central Park, their primary residence; Didion herself served on the co-op board.
Buyers of the literary kind will have their pick of writing spaces. The unit comes equipped with a large den and step-up library, as well as a staff room. The kitchen, where Didion famously spent much of her time, boasts a professional-grade Viking oven range. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, beamed ceilings, herringbone flooring, and a wood-burning fireplace round out the amenities.
The listing comes two and a half months since Didion’s estate auction, “An American Icon: Property From the Collection of Joan Didion.” The sensational event allowed the public to snap up a wide selection of her personal effects, from her Le Creuset dishware to her Celine sunglasses. The sale netted nearly $2 million and benefited two charities, one of them a scholarship for women in literature in her hometown of Sacramento.
In late January, the New York Public Libraryacquired Didion and Dunne’s joint literary archives, purchasing the couple’s personal collection of letters, photographs, and manuscripts. The research files for Didion’s much-lauded essays in The White Album and Slouching Towards Bethlehem were included, as were notes and drafts of The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights, her account of her daughter Quintana Roo Dunne’s death in 2005