Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was a novelist, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, theater director, human rights advocate, and critic.
Her works include the novels The Volcano Lover, The Benefactor, The Death Kit, and In America, for which she received the National Book Award in 2000, and the essay collections Illness as Metaphor, Under the Sign of Saturn, AIDS and its Metaphors, and On Photography, the winner of the 1978 National Book Critics Circle Award.
Among her other accolades, she won the 2003 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the 2003 Prince of Asturias Prize, the 2001 Jerusalem Prize, and the Malaparte Prize in Italy, and in 1999 she was named a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Between 1990 and 1995 she was a MacArthur Fellow.
From 1987 to 1989, she served as president of PEN American Center.