"By the time she died four years ago, Susan Sontag had been for decades a kind of intellectual plenipotentiary, novelist, culture critic and that most unlikely of all job categories, famous essayist. In person, Sontag could be warm, patient and funny. On the page, she was omniscient and intimidating, somebody who had read everything and assumed you had too. Where, you wondered, did she find the time? Now we know: she got an early start. Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947-1963, the first of three projected volumes selected from the diaries Sontag kept nearly all her life, is a portrait of the artist as a young omnivore, an earnest, tirelessly self-inspecting thinker fashioning herself into the phenomenon she will be . . . Her journal is her true first book, the story of a woman struggling with her consciousness."—Richard Lacayo, Time
"With the publication of Reborn—selections from the entries Sontag wrote between the ages of 14 and 30—we can now track the agonizing process of that self-creation: the first steps in her journey from a suburban California loner to America's reigning public intellectual . . . The most thrilling stretch of Reborn is its beginning, where we get a sustained look at a heretofore entirely mythical creature: the teenage Susan Sontag . . . She is, against all odds, a deeply lovable character. Her comically oversize ambition grew out of an equally oversize pain."—Sam Anderson, New York magazine
"Even as a teenager she as avid for life, literature, art, music; she was also self-doubting and desperate for approval. She saw romantic love as 'giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.' Now, four years after Susan Sontag's death, her son, David Rieff, has made the difficult decision to expose the private passions of this American cultural icon by publishing the first of three projected volumes, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963, an evolutionary history of an insatiable mind."—O, The Oprah Magazine
Susan Sontag was the author of numerous works of non-fiction, including the groundbreaking collection of essays Against Interpretation, and of four novels, including In America, which won the National Book Award.
David Rieff, the only child of Susan Sontag, is a nonfiction writer and a policy analyst. He has written numerous books and has been published in The New York Times, The Lost Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.