A sea of death swallows Sontag

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A sea of death swallows Sontag

“Swimming in a Sea of Death,” is a memoir written by the journalist son of American academic and novelist Susan Sontag.

David Rieff writes about his mother’s three major battles with cancer, how she tried to turn her despair into hope.

His mother’s hope is neither emotional nor religious.

Sontag eventually succumbed to cancer on Dec. 18, 2004 in New York City after a 30-year fight.

But until that point, she never stopped fighting. It was as if she knew she could survive if she could find enough reasons to live.

She continuously trusts medical treatments and never stops talking with her doctors about her status.

And even with three weeks left before her 72nd birthday, Sontag doesn’t accept that she will die of cancer.

This memoir contains Rieff’s grief over the loss of a mother, a candid account of his heartache over his mother’s illness.

“Illness as Metaphor” is a nonfiction work that Sontag wrote in 1978, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1975.

Born in 1933 in New York, she received the news that the cancer has spread all the way to her lymph glands.

In the work, she describes how the term “metaphor” leads to syndromes and physical diseases, because the passion has not been able to express itself.

This book is written from nothing other than her personal experience.

One must read this work as a biography of a strong and persevering woman who left an indelible mark on the literary world. With her strong will and never-ending desire, all she wanted was more time to live. By Kang Hye-ran
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