John Gregory Dunne (May 25, 1932 – December 30, 2003) was an
American novelist, screenwriter and literary critic.
1 Life and career
5 External links
Life and career
Dunne was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a younger brother of
author Dominick Dunne. He was the son of Dorothy Frances (née Burns)
and Richard Edwin Dunne, a hospital chief of staff and prominent heart
surgeon. With several siblings, he grew up in a large, wealthy
Irish Catholic family. Their maternal grandfather Dominick Francis
Burns had founded the Park Street Trust Company.
The young Dunne suffered from a severe stutter and took up writing to
express himself. Eventually he learned to speak normally by observing
others. He attended the Portsmouth Priory School and graduated from
Princeton University in 1954, where he was member of Tiger Inn.
He started working as a journalist in New York City for Time magazine.
He credited the political essayist
Noel Parmentel with being his
mentor in many ways.
In the late 1950s he met
Joan Didion in New York City, where she was
an editor at Vogue. In a 2005 interview Didion recalled, "We amused
each other and I thought he was smart. He knew a lot of stuff that I
didn't know, like politics and history - I had managed to go through
school without learning much except a lot of poems." He invited her
to travel to Connecticut one weekend in 1963 to visit his family: New
England Irish Catholic, with six children. Didion said she "liked the
set-up, liked being there, and liked him."
They married on January 30, 1964, at
Mission San Juan Bautista
Mission San Juan Bautista in
California. He was 31 and she 29. They moved to a remote house on the
California coast; Didion worked on a novel to follow her debut Run,
River, and Dunne worked on a book about the California grape pickers'
strike. They wrote a joint by-lined column for the Saturday Evening
Post magazine for years. Unable to have children, in 1966 they adopted
a baby at birth and named her Quintana Roo, after the Mexican
Dunne and Didion gradually picked up writing work from book publishers
and magazines, travelled together on journalism assignments, and
established a working pattern that served for the next 40 years. They
had a constant advising, consulting and editing collaboration.
Critically acclaimed bestselling books followed for each - including
for Dunne, The Studio, his non-fiction account of 20th Century Fox.
They also collaborated on a series of screenplays, including The Panic
in Needle Park (1971), A Star Is Born (1976), and True Confessions
(1981), an adaptation of Dunne's novel of the same name. He wrote a
non-fiction book about Hollywood, Monster: Living Off the Big Screen.
As a literary critic and essayist, Dunne was a frequent contributor to
The New York Review of Books. His essays were collected in two books,
Quintana & Friends (1980) and Crooning (1990).
He wrote several novels, among them True Confessions, based loosely on
Black Dahlia murder, and Dutch Shea, Jr.. He was the writer and
narrator of the 1990
PBS documentary L.A. is It with John Gregory
Dunne, in which he guided viewers through the cultural landscape of
Dunne and Didion moved to Manhattan. He died there of a heart attack
in December 2003. His final novel, Nothing Lost, which was in
galleys at the time of his death, was published in 2004.
He was father to
Quintana Roo Dunne, who died in 2005 after a series
of illnesses. He was uncle to actors
Griffin Dunne (who co-starred in
An American Werewolf in London) and
Dominique Dunne (who co-starred in
His wife, Joan Didion, published
The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking (2005),
a memoir of the year following his death, during which their daughter,
Quintana Roo Dunne, was seriously ill. It won critical acclaim and the
National Book Award.
Delano: The Story of the California Grape Strike. Farrar, Straus &
Giroux. 1967. ; University of California Press, 2007,
The Studio (1969)
True Confessions, E.P. Dutton, (1977) reprinted 2005 Thunder's Mouth
Quintana and Friends (1978)
Dutch Shea, Jr. (1982)
The Red White and Blue (1987)
Monster: Living Off the Big Screen (1997)
Nothing Lost. Alfred A. Knopf. 2004. ; reprint, Random House,
Inc., 2005, ISBN 978-1-4000-3501-4
Regards: The Selected Nonfiction of John Gregory Dunne. Thunder's
Mouth Press. 2006. ISBN 978-1-56025-816-2.
The Panic in Needle Park
The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
Play It as It Lays (1972)
A Star Is Born (1976)
True Confessions (1981)
Up Close & Personal (1996)
^ Eric Homberger (2 January 2004). "John Gregory Dunne". The Guardian.
^ a b Severo, Richard (1 January 2004). "John Gregory Dunne, Novelist,
Screenwriter and Observer of Hollywood, Is Dead at 71". The New York
^ McNally, Owen (2009-08-26). "Celebrity Author And Hartford Native
Dominick Dunne Dies At Age 83". The Hartford Courant. Archived from
the original on 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
^ Sudyk, Bob (1998-05-24). "Dunne's Trials from Hartford to Hollywood
to Hadlyme with a Writer Who's Known the Peak of Fame and Despair's
Deepest Trough". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
^ Morin, Monte (January 2, 2004). "John Dunne Dies; Wrote 'The
Studio'". Star-News. p. 4B.
^ a b c "East Side Elegy", Richard Benson interview with Joan Didion,
Telegraph Magazine, 2005
^ Morin, Monte (2003-12-31). "'The Studio' Author John Gregory Dunne
Dies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved
^ Yardley, Jonathan (22 January 2006). "Jonathan Yardley". The
George Plimpton (Spring 1996). "John Gregory Dunne, The Art of
Screenwriting No. 2". Paris Review.
John Gregory Dunne at Find a Grave
ISNI: 0000 0001 0935 1761
BNF: cb14039757d (data)