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Sontag, Susan.

AIDS and Its Metaphors.

Book

Inscribed to Eva Kollisch
Sontag. Susan. The Benefactor. New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, (1963).
8vo.; topstained black; black paper-covered boards; black cloth spine, stamped in green and white; dust-jacket, decoratively printed in black, blue and green; rubbed; spine sunned and slightly chipped.  In a specially made cloth slipcase.
First edition; published simultaneously in Canada. A presentation copy, inscribed to Eva Kollisch on the verso of the front endpaper: for Eva, whom I love - Susan. July 12, 1963.
Boxed together with:
Sontag, Susan. Styles of Radical Will. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, (1969).
8vo.; tan endpapers; topstained grey; blue cloth boards; spine stamped in blue; dust-jacket, printed in grey, red and blue; spine slightly sunned.
First edition; some of the essays included herein appeared originally in Aspen, Partisan Review, Sight and Sound, the Tulane Drama Review and Esquire. A presentation copy, inscribed on the front endpaper: for Eva and Uri - love, love - Susan/April 3, 1969. Sontag drew a picture frame around Uri's name.
Boxed together with:
Sontag, Susan. I, etcetera. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, (1978).
8vo.; brown endpapers; brown cloth boards; spine stamped in gilt; decoratively printed dust-jacket.
First edition; some of these stories originally appeared in American Review. The Atlantic, Harper's Bazaar, The New Yorker, Partisan Review and Playboy. A presentation copy, inscribed on the front endpaper: for Eva, who knows these stories, with my love, as always - Susan/3/7/79.
Boxed together with:
Sontag, Susan. AIDS and Its Metaphors. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, (1989).
8vo.; grey cloth boards; spine stamped in silver; white dust-jacket, printed in red, black and grey.
First edition; published simultaneously in Canada. A presentation copy, inscribed on the front endpaper: for dearest Eva, with love, as always - Susan Sontag.
Boxed together with:
Related ephemera: a black and white publicity photograph of Sontag, ca. 5 x 7", in honor of the publication of her first novel, The Benefactor; a newspaper clipping featuring the same publicity photograph of Sontag with the blurb, "This young woman is Susan Sontag, one of the handsomest lady novelists to appear on the scene since Kathleen Winsor with 'Forever Amber.' At 30, she is the author of the season's eeriest novel."; and a postcard advertising Kollisch's memoir, Girl in Movement.
Kollisch was born in Austria in 1925; she escaped Nazi persecution in 1939 when she fled to England, and from there immigrated to the United States. She was a Trotskyite; and she taught German, Comparative Literature and Women's Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. She's the author of two books: Girl in Movement (2000) and Ground Under My Feet (2008). Kollisch and Sontag likely met in the early 1960s at Sarah Lawrence College, where they were both teaching; and they became intimately involved with each other.  
Sontag's The Benefactor was published when she was thirty years old; it is her first book. It is "picaresque in form and told in the first person…the story of a young man and his adventures - real, unreal, surreal, dreamlike - in a large cosmopolitan capital, identifiable as Paris, and in North African. It is the work of a completely contemporary imagination, written in an ironic classical style" (dust-jacket).
Styles of Radical Will is her fifth book, and her third book of non-fiction. Eight critical essays, divided into three sections, include: "The Aesthetics of Silence," "The Pornographic Imagination," "Godard," "What's Happening in America (1966)," and "Trip to Hanoi," which had been published separately, in 1968. Sontag was lauded as "a highly serious aesthetician and a conscience to America. Her clear view of things as they are and her optimism that they can change, her attitude toward ideas and thought as essential to action make Styles of Radical Will a valuable and stimulating book" (dust-jacket).
I, etcetera prints of eight short stories. "These wise, troubling stories unflinchingly depict the ordeals and dilemmas of a modern consciousness weighted down by too much history, too much information, and too little wisdom" (dust-jacket). Titles include, "Project for a Trip to China," "American Spirits," "Old Complaints Revisited," "Baby," "Doctor Jekyll," and "Unguided Tour." "These stories, taken together, are a brilliant evocation of our time and of our condition in all its complexity and tragedy" (dust-jacket).
AIDS and its Metaphors is a thematic sequel to Illness as Metaphor (1978), which she wrote after a near-fatal bout of cancer, though it is not autobiographical. "This triumphantly lucid book will change the way people think about AIDS and dispel many of the myths and prejudices that afflict those with the illness" (dust-jacket).
Sontag (1933-2004) was a novelist, short-story writer, critic and essayist; she was married to Philip Rieff from the age of seventeen to twenty-five; she had a son, David, with him. Sontag studied at UC Berkley, the University of Chicago, Harvard and St. Anne's College, Oxford. During the early part of her career she taught up and down the east coast, including at the University of Connecticut, Sarah Lawrence College, Rutgers University, City College and Columbia.
Sontag published extensively in The Partisan Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books and the Saturday Review. Her first novel, The Benefactor, was published in 1963. Her first book of essays, Against Interpretation, and Other Essays (1966), immediately brought her recognition and solidified her reputation. It was followed by Trip to Hanoi (1968) and Styles of Radical Will (1969), as well as On Photography (1977), Under the Sign of Saturn (1980), and The Way we Live Now (1991), among others. Her last novel, In America (2000), earned her the National Book Award; and her last work of nonfiction, Regarding the Pain of Others, won the Jerusalem Prize at the Jerusalem International Book Fair in 2001. Sontag is the recipient of several other awards and fellowships, including one from the American Association of University Women, and grants from the Rockefeller, Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations.
(#9467 / #10801 / #10802 / #10803)

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