Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo—and featuring nearly one hundred images— Benjamin Moser's Sontag (Ecco), winner of a 2020 Pulitzer Prize, 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. It’s also a book about someone who was a frequent speaker at Elliott Bay or at Elliott Bay-related programs over the last decade-and-a-half of her life. Seattle was where some of her last medical treatment took place in 2004, just before her passing. 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.
"Moser's accomplishment here is breathtaking: it includes an extraordinary knowledge of the subject, her milieu, her writings, her ideas, and her friends and family, beautiful prose, extraordinary insights, a capacity to understand her driven emotional life and her stellar intellectual life."-- Rebecca Solnit.
Benjamin Moser is also the author of a major biography of Clarice Lispector, Why This World. He has published translations from French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch.