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Governor Jerry Brown, Harrison Ford and Anjelica Huston Celebrate Joan Didion at PEN Center USA Awards

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 15, 2013 at 4:07PM

PEN Center USA's 23rd annual Literary Awards Festival at the Beverly Hills Hotel was a dazzling mix of literary Los Angeles and Hollywood, as Joan Didion was winning the Lifetime Achievement Award. Many of the 400 or so attendees, from producer Laura Bickford to authors Bret Easton Ellis, A.M. Homes, Cari Beauchamp, Janet Fitch and Michael Tolkin, were disappointed that the diminutive and frail New York writer was not able to attend, after sustaining a fall. Governor Jerry Brown and Harrison Ford had been friends with Didion for some 40 years, and valued her friendship--and sophisticated dinner parties.
Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Award of Honor


Children's and Young Adult Literature

Michael Harmon , Under the Bridge

Creative Nonfiction

Joy Harjo , Crazy Brave


Dan O'Brien , The Body of an American


Ramona Ausubel , No One is Here Except All of Us

First Amendment

Chris Hedges

Freedom to Write

Sonia Nassery Cole

Graphic Literature


Ed Leibowitz , The Takeover Artist (Los Angeles Magazine)

Lifetime Achievement

Joan Didion


Amanda Auchter , The Wishing Tomb

Research Nonfiction

Seth Rosenfeld , Subversives


Mark Boal , Zero Dark Thirty


Danny Strong , Game Change


Philip Boehm , An Ermine in Czernopol

UC Press Exceptional First Book Award

Randol Contreras , The Stickup KidsExpand

This article is related to: Awards, Awards, Oliver Stone, Oliver Stone, Harrison Ford, Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty, Bret Easton Ellis

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.