Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors by Susan Sontag

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In 1978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a classic work described by Newsweek as "one of the most liberating books of its time." A cancer patient herself when she was writing the book, Sontag shows how the metaphors and myths surrounding certain illnesses, especially cancer, add greatly to the suffering of patients and often inhibit them from seeking proper treatment. By demystifying the fantasies surrounding cancer, Sontag shows cancer for what it is--just a disease. Cancer, she argues, is not a curse, not a punishment, certainly not an embarrassment and, it is highly curable, if good treatment is followed.

Almost a decade later, with the outbreak of a new, stigmatized disease replete with mystifications and punitive metaphors, Sontag wrote a sequel to Illness as Metaphor, extending the argument of the earlier book to the AIDS pandemic.

These two essays now published together, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, have been translated into many languages and continue to have an enormous influence on the thinking of medical professionals and, above all, on the lives of many thousands of patients and caregivers.


About Susan Sontag

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Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was the author of numerous works of non-fiction, including the groundbreaking collection of essays Against Interpretation (FSG, 1966), and of four novels, including In America (FSG, 2000), which won the National Book Award.
Published October 1, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 194 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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A necessary, freeing essay about the way we think about AIDS, and a sequel to Sontag's ten-year-old Illness as Metaphor.

Oct 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Illness as Metaphor and AIDS ...

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