Didion’s work is an unrelenting exercise in class superiority, and it will soon be as unendurable as a minstrel show. It is the calf-bound, gilt-edged bible of neoliberal meritocracy. The weirdest thing about it is that this dyed-in-the-wool conservative woman (she started her career at the National Review) somehow became the irreproachable darling of New York media and stayed that way for decades, all on the strength of a dry, self-regarding prose style and a “glamor shot” with a Corvette. The toast of Broadway and the face of Céline, decorated by Barack Obama himself, Didion is the mascot of the 20th century’s ruling class (both “liberal” and “conservative”)—that is, people who “went to a good school” and know how to ski and what kind of wine to order, and thus believe themselves entitled to be in charge of your life and mine, and just… planet Earth. Almost every college-educated person in the United States d’un certain âge (that’s the kind of phrase we liked to use) is to some degree responsible for this, insofar as we accepted it—or did, maybe, until 2016, when the failures of the “meritocracy” finally came home to roost. Or not roost, rather, so much as attack like we were Tippi Hedren.
Maria Bustillos, “The Center Held Just Fine”