In her journals, Sontag immerses herself in literature, makes lists of self-betterment, leaves for Berkeley at 16, and accepts her lesbian tendencies. Bracing and provocative.— Rachel
The fragmented story of the birth of a great thinker -- her internal life, her writing life, and the early rigor of her thinking. See Sontag emerge into a complex relationship with her work and her sexuality, and meet some of her greatest influences. Come away feeling not only like you know her intimately, but like you and she are not so dissimilar.— Sarah G.
Reading writers' diaries so often feel beside-the-point, but this volume of Sontag's notebooks, following her from ages 16 to 30, is gorgeous just as a reading experience unto itself. You don't need to have read Sontag's essays or be deeply familiar with her work to enjoy her journals, although they will be a salve if you've ever found her work 'dry' or 'cold.' Here is the feelingsy flip-side of the intellectual, the ephemera of a genius's day-to-day. High points: Susan Sontag at 16, after just having sex for the first time, discoursing on life. Sontag at 20, married, with a two year old. Sontag in Paris, hopelessly in love with a woman who spurns her. Sontag, reading.— Madeleine