Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Where the Stress Falls

Where the Stress Falls


Susan Sontag




Trade Paperback

Thirty-five years after her first collection, the now classic Against Interpretation, America's most important essayist has chosen more than forty longer and shorter pieces from the last twenty years. Divided into three sections, the first "Reading" includes ardent pieces on writers from her own private canon - Machado de Assis, Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Borges, Tsvetaeva, and Elizabeth Hardwick. In the second, "Seeing" she shares her passions for film, dance, photography, painting, opera, and theater. And in the final section, "There and Here" Sontag explores her own commitments to the work (and activism) of conscience and to the vocation of the writer.


Where the Stress Falls

A Poet's Prose
"I WHO WOULD BE nothing without the Russian nineteenth century ... ," Camus declared, in 1958, in a letter of homage to Pasternak--one of the constellation...


Praise for Where the Stress Falls

“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.' She has been a great explainer, but her explanations are not reductive....She regroups the familiar and makes the eye fresh....She stands for what is articulate, independent, exploratory: for self as work in progress.” —Hilary Mantel, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“[The essays] invariably also leave one with the urgent desire to read the book or see the painting, play, dance she describes. Her passion evokes that urgency...The outstanding essays are ‘Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo' and ‘Writing Itself: On Roland Barthes,' both of which are definitive and awe-inspiring.” —Bookforum

“Three essays--the longest in the book--are of unquestioned lasting importance. They are ‘Writing Itself: On Roland Barthes,' ‘Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo' and the title essay [‘Where the Stress Falls' which] is a stunning tour de force.” —Houston Chronicle

Where the Stress Falls raises the bar of criticism to the highest level....Her energy infuses every word in the collection.” —The Seattle Times

“Her criticism is art in its own right, so gorgeously formed and creative, so vital and searching, deeply rooted in passionately intelligent reading and unstinting curiosity ....A substantial and wonderfully musical collection that makes matters literary and artistic urgent and thrilling.” —Booklist

About the author

Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, including In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction; a collection of stories; several plays, and five works of nonfiction, among them Against Interpretation and On Photography. Her latest book is Regarding the Pain of Others. Her books have been translated into 28 languages. In 2001, she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work.

Susan Sontag

Mikhail Lemkhin

Sontag's obituary in The New Yorker

Sontag at the New York Review of Books

Sontag's obituary in The New York Times

An interview with Sontag in The Atlantic

From the Publisher


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