A pithy and brilliant introduction to Susan Sontag’s writing on women, gathering early essays on aging, equality, beauty, sexuality, and fascism
Susan Sontag was one of the most formidable, original, and influential thinkers of the last century. “The most interesting ideas are heresies,” she remarked, and indeed, her writing rejects the familiar and refuses party lines.
On Women presents seven essays and exchanges, spanning a range of subjects: the challenges and humiliations women face as they age; the relationship between women’s liberation and class struggle; beauty, which Sontag calls “that over-rich brew of so many familiar opposites”; feminism; fascism; and film. Taken together, these pieces—relentlessly curious, historically precise, politically robust, and allergic to easy categorization Sontag’s inimitable mind at work.
David Rieff is a New York-based journalist and author. During the nineteen-nineties, he covered conflicts in Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Liberia), the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo), and Central Asia. Now a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, he has written extensively about Iraq, and, more recently, about Latin America. He is the author of eight books, including Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West and A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis. His memoir of his mother’s final illness, Swimming in a Sea of Death, appeared in January 2008. Based in New York City, Rieff is currently working on a book about the global food crisis.