Susan Sontag (January 16th, 1933 – December 28th, 2004) was an American writer, philosopher and political activist known among readers for her essays and nonfiction works.
Born Susan Rosenblatt in New York City to Jewish parents of Lithuanian and Polish descent. When Susan was five years old her father died and several years later her mother married a US Army Captain, Nathan Sontag, giving Susan the name we remember her by. Despite being raised by Jewish parents, Sontag stated that she did not have a religious upbringing and was in her 20s before she entered a synagogue.
By her own reckoning Susan had an unhappy childhood and found solace in literature. After graduating from high school, she attended the Univercity of California, Berkeley but soon transferred to the University of Chicago where she studied philosophy, ancient history and literature, she graduated aged 18 and in 1951 her work appeared in print for the first time in the winter issue of the Chicago Review.
Sontag married at 17 after a courtship of just ten days, her marriage to writer Philip Rieff lasted eight years. In the 1960s she quit university teaching to take up freelance writing full time. During her life, Sontag was left leaning and an outspoken social commentator, involved in issues such as the Vietnam War, the Siege of Sarajevo, AIDS and illness, human rights and communism.
Despite being mostly known for her nonfiction works, she primarily thought of herself as a novelist but it was through her essays that she gained fame and notoriety. Her best known works are Notes on Camp, On Photography, and In America.
Sontag died in New York City aged 71 from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome. Many of her obituaries failed to mention her significant same-sex relationships, despite Sontag being open about her bisexuality during her life.
Some bookshops have even gone so far as to create visual experiments to show how many of the shelves are dominated by male authors.
Its eight years since Salinger died in 2010 leaving behind a body of published works including the iconic The Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, For Esme with Love and Squalor and other works. However, the author had not published anything since 1965’s New Yorker story Hapworth 16, 1924, his last published work.
Pilcher was born Rosamunde E. M. L Scott on 22nd September 1924 in Lelant on the north coast of Cornwall and began writing aged 7. She was just 15 when she had her first short story published. In the late 1940s Pilcher began to write for Mills & Boon, publishing her stories under the pseudonym Jane Fraser.
To celebrate their five-year anniversary, a Canadian publisher, Bedside press, are reprinting the original novel with a new cover by Sami Kivelä, finally bringing this work back from its long out-of-print stint. Read More