"I intend to do everything...to have one way of evaluating experience--does it cause me pleasure or pain, and I shall be very cautious about rejecting the painful--I shall anticipate pleasure everywhere and find it too, for it is everywhere! I shall involve myself wholly...everything matters!"
So wrote Susan Sontag in May 1949 at the age of sixteen. This, the first of three volumes of her journals and notebooks, presents a constantly and utterly surprising record of a great mind in incubation. It begins with journal entries and early attempts at fiction from her years as a university and graduate student, and ends in 1964, when she was becoming a participant in and observer of the artistic and intellectual life of New York City.
Reborn is a kaleidoscopic self-portrait of one of America's greatest writers and intellectuals, teeming with Sontag's voracious curiosity and appetite for life. We watch the young Sontag's complex self-awareness, share in her encounters with the writers who informed her thinking, and engage with the profound challenge of writing itself--all filtered through the inimitable detail of everyday circumstance.
"What ultimately matters about Sontag . . . is what she has defended: the life of the mind, and the necessity for reading and writing as 'a way of being fully human.'" --Hilary Mantel, Los Angeles Times Book Review