Where the Stress Falls: Essays (Hardcover)


By Susan Sontag

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374289171, 288pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2001



Susan Sontag has said that her earliest idea of what a writer should be was "someone who is interested in everything." Thirty-five years after her first collection of essays, the now classic "Against Interpretation," our most important essayist has chosen more than forty longer and shorter pieces from the last two decades that illustrate a deeply felt, kaleidoscopic array of interests, passions, observations, and ideas.

"Reading" offers ardent, freewheeling considerations of talismanic writers from her own private canon, such as Marina Tsvetaeva, Randall Jarrell, Roland Barthes, Machado de Assis, W. G. Sebald, Borges, and Elizabeth Hardwick. "Seeing" is a series of luminous and incisive encounters with film, dance, photography, painting, opera, and theatre. And in the final section, "There and Here," Sontag explores some of her own commitments: to the work (and activism) of conscience, to the concreteness of historical understanding, and to the vocation of the writer.

"Where the Stress Falls" records a great American writer's urgent engagement with some of the most significant aesthetic and moral issues of the late twentieth century, and provides a brilliant and clear-eyed appraisal of what is at stake, in this new century, in the survival of that inheritance.

About the Author

Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, "The Benefactor," "Death Kit," "The Volcano Lover "and "In America"; "I, etcetera," a collection of stories; several plays; and five works of nonfiction, among them "On Photography" and "Illness as Metaphor" and "AIDS and Its Metaphors." She lives in New York City. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work.

Praise For Where the Stress Falls: Essays

"Susan Sontag is a powerful thinker, as smart as she's supposed to be, and a better writer, sentence for sentence, than anyone who now wears the tag 'intellectual.'" --Adam Begley, New York Observer