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In America

by

In America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In America is a kaleidoscopic portrait of America on the cusp of modernity. As she did in her enormously popular novel The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag casts a story located in the past in a fresh, provocative light to create a fictional world full of contemporary resonance.

In 1876 a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, emigrate to the United States and travel to California to found a utopian commune. When the commune fails, Maryna stays, learns English, and--as Marina Zalenska--forges a new, even more triumphant career on the American stage, becoming a diva on par with Sara Bernhardt.

In America is about many things: a woman's search for self-transformation; the fate of idealism; a life in the theater; the many varieties of love; and, not least of all, stories and storytelling itself. Operatic in the scope and intensity of the emotions it depicts, richly detailed and visionary in its account of America, and peopled with unforgettable characters.

Susan Sontag became a cultural figure upon the publication of her pathbreaking collection of essays Against Interpretation in 1966. She went on to write four novels, including In America, which won the National Book Award for Fiction, as well as a collection of stories, several plays, and seven subsequent works of nonfiction, among them On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, and Regarding the Pain of Others. Her many international honors included the Jerusalem Prize in 2001 and the Friedenspreis (Peace Prize) of the German Book Trade in 2003. She died in New York City on December 28, 2004. Winner of the National Book Award

In America is a kaleidoscopic portrait of America on the cusp of modernity. As she did in her enormously popular novel The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag casts a story located in the past in a fresh, provocative light to create a fictional world full of contemporary resonance.

In 1876 a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, emigrate to the United States and travel to California to found a utopian commune. When the commune fails, Maryna stays, learns English, and--as Marina Zalenska--forges a new, even more triumphant career on the American stage, becoming a diva on par with Sara Bernhardt.

In America is about many things: a woman's search for self-transformation; the fate of idealism; a life in the theater; the many varieties of love; and, not least of all, stories and storytelling itself. Operatic in the scope and intensity of the emotions it depicts, richly detailed and visionary in its account of early America, and peopled with unforgettable characters.

Winner of the National Book Award

Like its brilliant essayist author, this 'novel' defies every convention of storytelling . . . Most original and innovative.--The Philadelphia Inquirer

An exhilarating journey into the past, freighted with dazzling detail, the product of an endlessly inquisitive, historical imagination.--The Economist

Often brave and beautiful . . . The scope of the take is vast, and there is a largesse in the telling, the sheer happiness of art. But In America is also an intimate portrait of a willful woman who, like the liner which brings her to America, trails a great wake behind her . . . In this novel about Poland and America, acting and living, transformation and respiration, Susan Sontag has indeed found a story that tells many stories with elan, intelligence, and delight.--Richard Lourie, The Washington Post Book World

Sure-footed and wonderfully daring.--Sarah Kerr, The New York Times Book Review

An inventive work, written in fluid prose . . . Beautiful and unsettling.--Lisa Michaels, The Wall Street Journal

A fascinating exploration of what's real in a culture that preaches authenticity but worships artificiality.--The Christian Science Monitor

Enough incident, psychology, local color, and fascinating detail to stock a flotilla of popular novels, a couple of Ragtimes, and a brace of theatrical memoirs.--Michael Silverblatt, Los Angeles Times Book Review

What is wonderful about this book is . . . the] counterpoint of novelist and essayist, of innocence and knowingness. From the knowingness comes another excellence of In America, its cat's cradle of meanings.--Joan Acocella, The New Yorker

In America displays Sontag in a relaxed, pleasure-seeking mode, guiding her character through a long travelogue in time, specifically the beginnings of the gilded age in the brave new world. Here are sumptuous theaters in Manhattan and hotels in San Francisco; a journey 1,900 feet down into a silver mine in Virginia City, Nevada; cameo appearances by such luminaries as Henry James and the Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth.--Paul Gray, Time

cf0 Like its brilliant essayist author, this 'novel' defies every convention of storytelling . . . Most original and innovative.--The Philadelphia Inquirer

An exhilarating journey into the past, freighted with dazzling detail, the product of an endlessly inquisitive, historical imagination.--The Economist

Sontag weaves an expansive broad narrative cloth here, keeping us under her spell until the very last word.--Chicago Tribune

A powerful story of a woman transcending herself . . . Mesmerizing.--Palo Alto Daily News

In America] showcases Sontag's gift for cultural commentary and her eye for sumptuous detail.--Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

Susan Sontag is a powerful thinker, and a better writer, sentence for sentence, than anyone who now wears the tag 'intellectual.'--The New York Observer

Sontag crafts a novel of ideas in which real figures from the past enact their lives against an assiduously researched, almost cinematically vivid background. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Sontag uses dense, elegant language, inventive dialogue, impassioned monologue, and diary entries to l

Review:

"This, presumably, is what Horace meant when he asked, rhetorically, "do good poems come by nature, or by art?" The same question might be asked of good novels, such as this one. One suspects that Sontag wants us to ask such a question, wants us to use the dilemma of theater's mimesis as a way of reflecting on the dilemma of the historical novel's relation to reality. For her book is both Romantically expressive and artfully sly; it is unconscious and self-conscious in equal measure." James Woods, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review here)

Synopsis:

In 1876, a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, travels to California to found a "utopian" commune. "In America" is a big, juicy, surprising book about a woman's search for self-transformation, about the fate of idealism, and about the world of the theater.

Synopsis:

In America is a kaleidoscopic portrait of America on the cusp of modernity. As she did in her enormously popular novel The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag casts a story located in the past in a fresh, provocative light to create a fictional world full of contemporary resonance.

In 1876 a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, emigrate to the United States and travel to California to found a "utopian commune." When the commune fails, Maryna stays, learns English, and—as Marina Zalenska—forges a new, even more triumphant career on the American stage, becoming a diva on par with Sara Bernhardt.

In America is about many things: a woman's search for self-transformation; the fate of idealism; a life in the theater; the many varieties of love; and, not least of all, stories and storytelling itself. Operatic in the scope and intensity of the emotions it depicts, richly detailed and visionary in its account of America, and peopled with unforgettable characters.

 
In America is the winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction.

About the Author

Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America; I, Etcetera, a collection of stories; several plays; and five works of nonfiction, among them Illness as a Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312273200
Author:
Sontag, Susan
Publisher:
Picador USA
Location:
New York, N.Y
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
California
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Actresses
Subject:
Utopias
Subject:
Polish americans
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Picador USA ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
no. 52
Publication Date:
20010531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
398
Dimensions:
8.26 x 5.5 x 1.095 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Award Winners
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

In America Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 398 pages Picador USA - English 9780312273200 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This, presumably, is what Horace meant when he asked, rhetorically, "do good poems come by nature, or by art?" The same question might be asked of good novels, such as this one. One suspects that Sontag wants us to ask such a question, wants us to use the dilemma of theater's mimesis as a way of reflecting on the dilemma of the historical novel's relation to reality. For her book is both Romantically expressive and artfully sly; it is unconscious and self-conscious in equal measure." (read the entire New Republic review here)
"Synopsis" by , In 1876, a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, travels to California to found a "utopian" commune. "In America" is a big, juicy, surprising book about a woman's search for self-transformation, about the fate of idealism, and about the world of the theater.
"Synopsis" by ,
In America is a kaleidoscopic portrait of America on the cusp of modernity. As she did in her enormously popular novel The Volcano Lover, Susan Sontag casts a story located in the past in a fresh, provocative light to create a fictional world full of contemporary resonance.

In 1876 a group of Poles led by Maryna Zalezowska, Poland's greatest actress, emigrate to the United States and travel to California to found a "utopian commune." When the commune fails, Maryna stays, learns English, and—as Marina Zalenska—forges a new, even more triumphant career on the American stage, becoming a diva on par with Sara Bernhardt.

In America is about many things: a woman's search for self-transformation; the fate of idealism; a life in the theater; the many varieties of love; and, not least of all, stories and storytelling itself. Operatic in the scope and intensity of the emotions it depicts, richly detailed and visionary in its account of America, and peopled with unforgettable characters.

 
In America is the winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction.

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