Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America; I, Etcetera, a collection of stories; several plays; and five works of nonfiction, among them Illness as a Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work.
"Often brave and beautiful . . . The scope of the take is vast, and there is a largesse in the telling, the sheer happiness of art. But In America is also an intimate portrait of a willful woman who, like the liner which brings her to America, trails a great wake behind her . . . In this novel about Poland and America, acting and living, transformation and respiration, Susan Sontag has indeed found a story that tells many stories with elan, intelligence and delight." --Richard Lourie, Washington Post Book World"Sure-footed and wonderfully daring." --Sarah Kerr, New York Times Book Review"An inventive work, written in fluid prose . . . Beautiful and unsettling." --Lisa Michaels, The Wall Street Journal"A fascinating exploration of what's real in a culture that preaches authenticity but worships artificiality." --Christian Science Monitor"Enough incident, psychology, local color, and fascinating detail to stock a flotilla of popular novels, a couple of Ragtimes, and a brace of theatrical memoirs." --Michael Silverblatt, Los Angeles Times Book Review"What is wonderful about this book is . . . [the] counterpoint of novelist and essayist, of innocence and knowingness. From the knowingness comes another excellence of In America, its cat's cradle of meanings." --Joan Acocella, The New Yorker"In America displays Sontag in a relaxed, pleasure-seeking mode, guiding her character through a long travelogue in time, specifically the beginnings of the gilded age in the brave new world. Here are sumptuous theaters in Manhattan and hotels in San Francisco; a journey 1,900 feet down into a silver mine in Virginia City, Nevada; cameo appearances by such luminaries as Henry James and the Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth." --Paul Gray, Time"Like its brilliant essayist author, this 'novel' defies every convention of storytelling . . . Most original and innovative." --Philadelphia Inquirer"An exhilarating journey into the past, freighted with dazzling detail, the product of an endlessly inquisitive, historical imagination." --The Economist"Sontag weaves an expansive broad narrative cloth here, keeping us under her spell until the very last word." --Chicago Tribune"A powerful story of a woman transcending herself . . . Mesmerizing." --Palo Alto Daily News"[In America] showcases Sontag's gift for cultural commentary and her eye for sumptuous detail." --Denver Rocky Mountain News"Susan Sontag is a powerful thinker, and a better writer, sentence for sentence, than anyone who now wears the tag 'intellectual.'" --New York Observer"Sontag crafts a novel of ideas in which real figures from the past enact their lives against an assiduously researched, almost cinematically vivid background." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Alternately hilarious and tragic." --Vanity Fair"Sontag uses dense, elegant language, inventive dialogue, impassioned monologue, and diary entries to lure the reader more deeply into the fascinating historical journey of a powerful actress . . . Sontag triumphs once again with her gift for turning history into riveting fiction." --Library Journal