The Benefactor, Susan Sontag's first book and first novel, originally published in 1963, introduced a unique writer to the world. In the form of a memoir by a latter-day Candide named Hippolyte, The Benefactor leads us on a kind of psychic Grand Tour, in which Hippolyte's violently imaginative dream life becomes indistinguishable from his surprising experiences in the 'real world.' Sontag's novel supplies a fascinating, knowing, acerbic portrait of a certain bohemian demimonde that flourished in France until quite recently. More important, The Benefactor is a novel about ideas-especially religious ideas-unlike any other: funny, acrobatic, disturbing, profound.
Praise For The Benefactor: A Novel…
“An extraordinary, imaginative achievement that plays over the reader's senses with boldness, grace, and daring.” —John Hawkes
“A highly original, brilliant tale of a self-centered, solitary dilettante whose dreams take over his life.” —New York Post
“Originality, economy of language, brilliance . . . There is a Kafka-esque quality to The Benefactor.” —Newsday
“Remarkable . . . Its ancestors are Baudelaire, Kafka, and perhaps in the distance Dostoyevsky and Proust.” —John Wain
“A major writer . . . I especially admired how she can make a real story out of dreams and thoughts.” —Hannah Arendt
Picador, 9780312420123, 288pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 2002