Susan Sontag

Overview

"The book neither sympathizes with its subject nor trashes her. A kind of semiruthless, semi-good-natured impersonality prevails throughout....This book never penetrates the glazed surface of Sontag's appearance or the formal character of her work....[However] many interviews were conducted with friends and enemies alike, the reader is left knowing that a wall still stands behind which Susan Sontag lurks, undetected and unknown." —Vivian Gornick, Salon, 08/01/2000
The first—and unauthorized—biography of the ...

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Overview

"The book neither sympathizes with its subject nor trashes her. A kind of semiruthless, semi-good-natured impersonality prevails throughout....This book never penetrates the glazed surface of Sontag's appearance or the formal character of her work....[However] many interviews were conducted with friends and enemies alike, the reader is left knowing that a wall still stands behind which Susan Sontag lurks, undetected and unknown." —Vivian Gornick, Salon, 08/01/2000
The first—and unauthorized—biography of the so-called dark lady of American letters. Ever since she took American culture by storm with the publication of her Notes on Camp in 1964, Susan Sontag has been a star. Her austere glamour has been a critical factor in her success, making her a role model for intellectual women, a sex symbol for brainy men. She has never ceased to fascinate the public: as brilliant wunderkind, bringing the latest in French thought to America; as sophisticated analyst of her own experience with cancer in Illness as Metaphor; as champion of free speech in the Rushdie Affair; as theater director in besieged Sarajevo; and, with the publication of The Volcano Lover, as best-selling historical novelist. Yet she has both courted that fascination and insisted on holding it at a distance, demanding control over her public image. This first—and most definitely unauthorized—biography delves beneath the surface to examine the forces that made Susan Sontag an international icon. Carl Rollyson and Lisa Paddock explore her public persona and private passions, including the strategies behind her meteoric rise to fame and her political moves and missteps. Above all, they show how the life of Susan Sontag reveals to us the way we live now.

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Editorial Reviews

Criticas
This 2000 work was the first (and unauthorized) biography of renowned U.S. intellectual and author Sontag. The book examines her childhood, college years, married life, homosexuality, and writing career. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393049282
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2000

    The first biography of this NYC institution.

    We knew from the outset that this biography would encounter fierce opposition from Sontag and her circle--and it did, including threatening letters and telephone calls from her attorneys and publisher. With the strong support of our publisher, WW Norton, we were able nonetheless to produce an independent account of New York literary life and of one of its most celebrated and controversial makers.

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