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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Benefactor

The Benefactor

A Novel

Susan Sontag



The Benefactor, Susan Sontag's first book and first novel, originally published in 1963, introduced a unique writer to the world. In the form of a memoir by a latter-day Candide named Hippolyte, The Benefactor leads us on a kind of psychic Grand Tour, in which Hippolyte's violently imaginative dream life becomes indistinguishable from his surprising experiences in the 'real world.' Sontag's novel supplies a fascinating, knowing, acerbic portrait of a certain bohemian demimonde that flourished in France until quite recently. More important, The Benefactor is a novel about ideas-especially religious ideas-unlike any other: funny, acrobatic, disturbing, profound.

Praise for The Benefactor

“An extraordinary, imaginative achievement that plays over the reader's senses with boldness, grace, and daring.” —John Hawkes

“A highly original, brilliant tale of a self-centered, solitary dilettante whose dreams take over his life.” —New York Post

“Originality, economy of language, brilliance . . . There is a Kafka-esque quality to The Benefactor.” —Newsday

“Remarkable . . . Its ancestors are Baudelaire, Kafka, and perhaps in the distance Dostoyevsky and Proust.” —John Wain

“A major writer . . . I especially admired how she can make a real story out of dreams and thoughts.” —Hannah Arendt

Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America (winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction). She has also published a collection of stories, several plays, and five works of nonfiction, among them On Photography and, most recently, Where the Stress Falls. Her books are translated into twenty-eight languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work.

image of Susan Sontago
Mikhail Lemkhin

Sontag's obituary in The New Yorker

Sontag's obituary in The New York Times


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