Roan-Didion House

We’re not trying to overshadow the original owners here, but we feel like we’d be burying the lead if we didn’t mention that author Joan Didion lived in this 1910-built Sacramento, California house during her high school years.

After winning an essay contest sponsored by Vogue in the 1956 (during her senior year at University of California — Berkeley), the Sacramento native was awarded a research assistant job at the magazine. Over seven years, she worked her way up to associate features editor.

But Didion’s biggest moves came later, as she published nearly 20 books over several decades — both fiction and non-fiction — and co-wrote six screenplays and plays. An additional screenplay was based on her 2005 award-winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist book “The Year of Magical Thinking,” which documented the grief she experienced after her husband died suddenly. The play premiered on Broadway in 2007.

Didion won numerous and honors for her decades of work, including a National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2013. She died last December at home in Manhattan from complications of Parkinson’s disease. She was 87.

She came to live in the house after her grandmother, Genevieve Didion, acquired the house in 1951.

Its original owners were William and Mary Roan. William was a salesman for Weinstocks Lubin department store. Mary was the director of Sacramento Bank, a post she took after her first husband, Charles Ross, died.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s