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Reading Susan Sontag

Rollyson's biography Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon set a standard that the present volume does not quite match, but only because its aims and audience are much narrower. Rollyson (Baruch College, CUNY) devotes a chapter to each of Sontag's 11 books; each chapter includes a synopsis, a section called "Sontag Reading Sontag" (excerpts from interviews in which Sontag comments on her books), and a section called "Critical Commentary" (a survey of book reviews and critical essays, none of which is treated in any depth). The synopses are the longest parts of most chapters. The 42-page "Susan Sontag Glossary" includes descriptions of people and movements mentioned in Sontag's books. This book will be helpful to lower- and upper-division undergraduates who have been assigned to read her work and are looking for accessible, user-friendly background material and to general readers who are interested in, but intimidated by, Sontag.--Choice March 2002

The first book to survey the broad range of Sontag's work, including full discussions of her fiction, nonfiction prose, plays, and interviews.

Reading Carl Rollyson's reading Susan Sontag is like reading Susan Sontag through a prism of a clear and articulate sensibility. One can ask for no better guidebook to an appreciation and understanding of a major American public intellectual and literary figure. --M. Thomas Inge, Blackwell Professor of English and Humanities, Randolph-Macon College