In 2011, Vogue magazine published a profile of the first lady of Syria, Asma al-Assad, wife of Bashar al-Assad. It was headlined "A Rose in the Desert." The flattering article's author was Joan Juliet Buck, it went viral and prompted a huge backlash. This was one calamitous episode in a life of extreme ups and downs, in which Buck has been by turns child of Hollywood, jewelry designer, writer, actress, storyteller on The Moth Radio Hour, and former editor-in-chief of French Vogue. She counts actor Donald Sutherland among past lovers and Governor Jerry Brown among close friends. Now Buck has written a very readable memoir called The Price of Illusion; it opens with another shattering experience: her shocking firing after seven years as editor-in-chief at French Vogue.
DnA talks with Buck about the book, her love for her father and her destructive "addiction" to fashion. She also shares lessons for other writers that she learned from the Vogue firing and the Al-Assad article furore, and why she calls her book The Price of Illusion.