Joan Didion, grande dame of literary journalism, whose 2005’s The Year of Magical Thinking won the National Book Award for her unflinching examination of her own grief after her husband’s death, will speak at the New York Public Library on her most recent book, Blue Nights. The work is a deeply reflective elegy for her daughter Quintana Roo, who died in 2005 at age 39, just before The Year of Magical Thinking was published. Sloane Crosley, the sharp-witted essayist and author of both How Did You Get This Number and I Was Told There’d Be Cake, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize and is thoroughly hilarious, will talk with Didion about her long career, her personal losses, and the “carefully edited makeshift diary” that is her writing. As Didion is serious and Crosley is not, it should make for an intriguing conversation. (Didion will also appear November 30 at Symphony Space.)

Mon., Nov. 21, 7 p.m., 2011