The Benefactor: A Novel (Paperback)

The Benefactor: A Novel By Susan Sontag Cover Image
Not in Stock. Available to Order.


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.

About the Author

Susan Sontag was the author of four novels, including The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover, and In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for fiction; a collection of stories, I, etcetera; several plays, including Alice in Bed; and nine works of essays, among then On Photography, which won the National Books Critics Circle Award for criticism. In 2001, Sontag was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work. She died in New York City in 2004.

Praise For…

“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

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312420123
ISBN-10: 0312420129
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: June 1st, 2002
Pages: 288
Language: English