SLOANE CROSLEY: Charlotte Douglas is A Book of Common Prayer.
JOAN DIDION: She was in A Book of Common Prayer and she was married to a political, to a lawyer in San Francisco, and when asked by someone what her husband did, she said, “He runs guns. I wish they had caviar.” The minute I heard that, actually I heard somebody say that.
SLOANE CROSLEY: That’s a piece of dialogue from life?
JOAN DIDION: It’s a stolen piece of dialogue, yeah. And the minute I heard it I knew I had that book.
SLOANE CROSLEY: From the one line?
JOAN DIDION: From that one line, yeah.
SLOANE CROSLEY: That’s funny because I feel like that would probably—that’s actually very surprising to me that something such as a full-length novel could conceivably come from a little nugget like that, it would seem that that was more where essays came from.
JOAN DIDION: No, you can throw a novel into focus with one overheard line. But if you never hear the right overheard line, then you’re lost forever in that novel.
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