The last novel you wrote was The Last Thing He Wanted. That came out in 1996. Had you been working on it for a long time?
[excerpt from her answer] ...I had begun to lose patience with the conventions of writing. Descriptions went first; in both fiction and nonfiction, I just got impatient with those long paragraphs of description. By which I do not mean – obviously – the single detail that gives you the scene. I'm talking about description as a substitute for thinking. I think you can see me losing my patience as early as Democracy. That was why that book was so hard to write.
Joan Didion: The Art of Nonfiction No. 1, Interviewed by Hilton Als in Women at Work: Interviews from the Paris Review