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Sontag

Her Life and Work
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 22 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive portrait of one of the American Century’s most towering intellectuals: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her hidden private face.

No writer is as emblematic of the American 20th century as Susan Sontag. Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed, a girl from the suburbs who became a proud symbol of cosmopolitanism, Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture. She was there when the Cuban Revolution began, and when the Berlin Wall came down; in Vietnam under American bombardment, in wartime Israel, in besieged Sarajevo. She was in New York when artists tried to resist the tug of money - and when many gave in. No writer negotiated as many worlds; no serious writer had as many glamorous lovers. Sontag tells these stories and examines the work upon which her reputation was based. It explores the agonizing insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated - and undermined - her writing. And it shows her attempts to respond to the cruelties and absurdities of a country that had lost its way, and her conviction that fidelity to high culture was an activism of its own. 

Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo - Sontag is the first book based on the writer’s restricted archives, and on access to many people who have never before spoken about Sontag, including Annie Leibovitz. It is a definitive portrait - a great American novel in the form of a biography.

©2019 Benjamin Moser (P)2019 HarperAudio

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Regarding the boundaries of others

I was appalled by this book. A combination of pretentious pedantry and nasty gossip , it offers an offensive and intrusive picture of Sontag’s personal life that she would have loathed. One of America’s leading intellectuals deserves a better biography than this. And the narrator’s overdone fake French pronunciation is a bit irritating. For shame, Moser.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful