I have never thought of Susan Sontag as a novelist, regardless of the success of novels like THE VOLCANO LOVER. But she is back, having just been awarded the 2000 National Book Award for her latest book, IN AMERICA. Although the essay is her strong suit, Sontag is clearly winning a lot of fans for her fiction.
In 1876 a culturally and intellectually astute Polish diva named Maryna Zalezowska abandons the stage and establishes a utopian commune in, of all places, California. She is in search of a new self-created persona, and America holds all she needs to make her wish so. Writing that "life cannot be re