Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag
A poignant, intimate memoir of one of America's most esteemed and fascinating cultural figures, and a deeply felt work of homage. Novelist Sigrid Nunez was an aspiring writer when she first met Susan Sontag, already a legendary figure known for her polemical essays, her blindingly bright intelligence, and her edgy personal style. Sontag introduced Nunez to her son, the writer David Rieff, and the two began dating. Soon Nunez had moved into the apartment that Rieff and Sontag shared. Described by Nunez as "a natural mentor," Sontag inevitably infected those around her with her many cultural and intellectual passions. Her influence on Nunez would be profound, and Nunez looks back with gratitude for having had, as an early model, "someone who held such an exalted, unironic view of the writer's vocation." For a young woman who yearned to become a writer, says Nunez, meeting Sontag was one of the luckiest strokes of her life. Published more than six years after Sontag's death, this book is a startlingly truthful portrait of this outsize personality, who made being an intellectual a glamorous occupation.