No writer is as emblematic of the American twentieth 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. 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. Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo, and featuring nearly one hundred images, 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.