Browse through these chilling novels
14 Visions of a Dystopian America, from Orwell to Atwood
View the List
Paperback $16.00

Oct 07, 2014 | 128 Pages

Ebook $11.99

Oct 07, 2014 | 128 Pages

  • Paperback $16.00

    Oct 07, 2014 | 128 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Oct 07, 2014 | 128 Pages

Get the news you want from Penguin Random House

Praise

“Sontag once wrote about feeling estranged from the ‘Susan Sontag’ who stood on the spine of the books she had written. In Nunez’s Sempre Susan, the gap between the writer and the person who wrote the books is made all the more vividly real—a reminder of the extraordinary transformative work that goes into writing in the first place.”—Slate

“Nunez, an uncompromising talent in her own right, offers the most vibrant and multifaceted portrait of Sontag to date.”—Vogue

“Graceful, respectful and achingly honest.”—Kirkus

“Nunez has constructed a eulogy that mythologizes and humanizes one of the most intimidating figures of contemporary culture.”—The Boston Globe

“Nunez’s book is an elegy for a great woman and the company she kept, the vanished salon where she was the center.”—The New York Observer

“ ‘Looking back,’ Nunez writes, ‘I only wish that I could feel more joy—or, at least, that I could find a way of remembering that is not so painful.’ For the reader, if not for herself, she has.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The iconoclasm of the fearless intellectual Susan Sontag . . . continues with novelist Nunez’s thorny remembrance of the woman who was her literary mentor as well as her boyfriend’s mother. . . . What emerges from this conflicted portrait is a vulnerable woman recovering from illness who could not be alone; Sontag was supercilious, insecure, yet vulnerable to beauty and love, fiercely uncompromising, and surely, as Nunez intimates by the end, the finest teacher a young writer could ever have had.”—Publishers Weekly

“When Susan Sontag, 43, needed help catching up with correspondence in the wake of a radical mastectomy in 1976, friends suggested Nunez, then a 25-year-old writer wannabe, now an acclaimed novelist. Sontag was avid about sharing her knowledge, enthusiasms, and even her adored son, David Rieff, with Nunez, who ended up moving in. Now, six years after Sontag’s death, Nunez chronicles those heady and unnerving times in a boldly intimate, stingingly frank, and genuinely fascinating memoir. . . . Sontag averred that getting to know famous writers can be disappointing, but there is nothing diminishing about this up-close-and-personal account of one interlude in Sontag’s remarkable life of blazing literary accomplishment, activism, and valor. And Nunez herself is intriguing. Readers of this thorny remembrance will hope that Nunez tells her own story next time.”—Booklist

“Sigrid Nunez’s intimate portrayal of Susan Sontag will fascinate both ardent Sontag fans and those who have never read her work. This memoir is at once a window into the writing life in general, an examination of the complexities of one artist in particular, and a tribute to the lost intellectual New York City of the 1970s. Remarkably, it’s as honest as it is affectionate and as sad as it is charming.”—Curtis Sittenfeld

“Sempre Susan is written with quiet authority, flashes of poetry, and a steady accumulation of startling, precise details, some apocryphal (Sontag didn’t know what a dragonfly was? drank blood as a child?), until by the end Sontag the Myth comes to life. What is amazing about this wonderful book is that by the end we know as much about Nunez as we do about Sontag, by the very focus of her attention, by her perception of the myth, by her compassionate interpretation.”—Nick Flynn

“This detailed, nuanced account of the more private side of a complex, contradictory public figure is told with even-handed good humor and more than a little compassion. Utterly absorbing.”—Lydia Davis

“The best thing written about Sontag.”—Edmund White


 



“Nunez, an uncompromising talent in her own right, offers the most vibrant and multifaceted portrait of Sontag to date.” —Vogue

“Sontag once wrote about feeling estranged from the ‘Susan Sontag’ who stood on the spine of the books she had written. In Nunez’s Sempre Susan, the gap between the writer and the person who wrote the books is made all the more vividly real—a reminder of the extraordinary transformative work that goes into writing in the first place.” —Slate??

“Nunez’s book is an elegy for a great woman and the company she kept, the vanished salon where she was the center.” —The New York Observer

Product Details

Also by Sigrid Nunez

Back to Top