KOMET's Reviews > Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag

Sempre Susan by Sigrid Nunez
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Jan 07, 12

bookshelves: to-read, biographies-diaries-and-memoirs, sigrid-nunez
Read in January, 2012

I first became aware of Susan Sontag the public intellectual/essayist/activist roughly 20 years ago. She intrigued me because, given the incipient strain of anti-intellectualism in the U.S., I didn't think we Americans had any publicly acknowledged (and accepted) public intellectuals.

This book, in which the author details her relationship with Sontag, was both eye-opening and revelatory. Here was a woman who was fully aware of her wide-ranging literary and intellectual talents. Yet, she felt cheated and insecure because of what she said was "the lost decade" of her life. That is in reference to the decade before Sontag's first appearance in print, when she was a wife and mother. I was also surprised to learn, from the author, of Sontag's desire to be appreciated more for her fiction writing than as the superb essayist she was. Frankly, until Sontag's novel, "THE VOLCANO LOVER", I never thought she had ever dabbled in fiction.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. It has whetted my appetite to learn more about Susan Sontag, the writer and the person.
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