Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963
Picador, 9780312428501, 336pp.
Publication Date: October 27, 2009
"In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself."
The first of three volumes of Susan Sontag's journals and notebooks, Reborn (1947-1963) reveals one of the most important thinkers and writers of the twentieth century, fully engaged in the act of self-invention. Beginning with a voracious and prodigious fourteen-year-old, Reborn ends as Sontag, age thirty, is finally living in New York as a published writer.
About the Author
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.
Praise For Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963…
“A fascinating document of Sontag's apprenticeship, charting her earnest quest for education, identity, and voice . . . What slowly emerges . . . is a sense of Sontag's ferocious will. . . . She wanted to be a writer and would do almost anything to make that happen.” —Darryl Pinckney, The New Yorker
“A portrait of the artist as a young omnivore, an earnest, tirelessly self-inspecting thinker fashioning herself into the phenomenon she will be . . . Her journal is her true first book, the story of a woman struggling with her consciousness.” —Richard Lacayo, Time magazine
“A revelation . . . As do all the best critics, Sontag gave us new metaphors for how to read and see. Fabulously, surprisingly, Reborn shows she used that skill to understand her own pell-mell life.” —John Freeman, NPR.org
“What's fascinating . . . is that the journal reveals and adolescent and, later, a young woman, in whom 'ambition'--in this case, an overpowering yearning to be surrounded by and immersed in literature and culture--vastly outeweighed, and seems to have overpowered, 'sexuality.' As she herself puts it in the last entry of this journal, 'intellectual wanting' was the equal of 'sexual wanting' ” —Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Republic