Sontag by Benjamin Moser

Staff Pick

Since her death in 2004, there have been several biographies written about Susan Sontag, each taking a slightly different approach to the life of one of the most important literary critics, public intellectuals, and cultural icons of the twentieth century. While Benjamin Moser’s new book Sontag: Her Life and Work (Ecco, $39.99) is not the first, it is the only authorized account of the critic’s life, as well as the most comprehensive. David Rieff, Sontag’s son and frequent editor, allowed Moser unprecedented access to her unpublished diaries, letters, and ephemera. Moser interviewed her friends, family, former lovers—including her partner, the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz—and even the hair stylist who created Sontag’s trademark white streak following her first bout with cancer. Meticulously researched and richly detailed, Moser’s work sheds light on the two contradictory sides of Susan Sontag: the deeply insecure writer struggling to overcome self-doubt, and the often arrogant, always chic public persona. Moser’s previous work, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Sontag is already gaining wide critical attention.

Sontag: Her Life and Work: A Pulitzer Prize Winner By Benjamin Moser Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9780062896391
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Ecco - September 17th, 2019

A Pilgrimage to Eternity by Timothy Egan

Staff Pick

Timothy Egan's newest book, A Pilgrimage to Eternity (Viking, $28), is part travelogue, part history, and part
religious narrative. As he treads the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrim route that starts in Canterbury, England,
and ends in Rome, Italy, Egan traces this history of Europe and Catholicism and weaves in his own family's story.
He comes to the route with his eyes open, both to the wonder of the landscape he is walking through—described
in elegant prose that makes me long for the clear air of the Alps and the sun-soaked hills of Italy—and to the truths
that history lays at our feet. Though the book is written with a Twain-esque twinkle, Egan isn't afraid to address
the big questions of faith, violence, and the tumultuous present of our world and institutions. He writes about the
landscape with as much reverence as he does the relics, and addresses history and philosophical musings with
a liveliness and humility that come from placing one foot in front of the other. A Pilgrimage to Eternity is charming,
insightful, beautiful, and leaves the reader with just a little bit of hope that maybe faith and love can help save a
person after all.

A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith By Timothy Egan Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780735225237
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Viking - October 15th, 2019

Here All Along by Sarah Hurwitz

Staff Pick

Here All Along (Spiegel & Grau, $28) is a little literary gem. The author, Sarah Hurwitz, is a lawyer-turned-speechwriter who landed in the Obama White House and penned most of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speeches. Toward the end of the administration, after breaking up with a boyfriend, Hurwitz was looking for ways to fill her evenings and a friend suggested a class on Judaism at the Jewish community center. She went, and thus began a several-year plunge into a religion she had only been exposed to through Hebrew school and her Bat Mitzvah. Hurwitz spent thousands of hours studying ancient texts, querying rabbis and scholars, and debating with herself about the contradictions and paradoxes of Judaism as she explored how to apply its ethical teachings day-to-day. Hurwitz is a fluid, eloquent writer whose humility, honesty, and humor infuse each page, whether she is discussing conflicting interpretations of Jewish ritual and prayer or her own (often hilarious) adventures as she rediscovers the meaning and place of Judaism in her life. By the way, you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy and learn from this wonderful book.

Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life--in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There) By Sarah Hurwitz Cover Image
$31.00
ISBN: 9780525510710
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House - September 3rd, 2019

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