Joan Didion is one of my favorite writers. Her writing style is barbed and cool. My graduate students and I had a great time last night discussing her On Morality essay in class.
Didion makes an interesting claim that morality is not individual. Morality is shared. Morality, at its core, consists of the promises we make to each other. Alone we can be self-righteous. Together we must be moral.
Didion then goes on to pick apart how the definition of morality has been politicized and ruined and misunderstood over the centuries. On Morality is must reading for those who wish to share the same space, neighborhood or planet.
You may not agree with her argument but you will be forced to consider her thesis in order to intellectually spar with her ideas. Creating that pathway for thinking is the role of the writer in society.