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About the book
  • Published: 10 January 2003
  • ISBN: 9780141187129
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $32.99

Illness As Metaphor And Aids And Its Metaphors


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Susan Sontag presents the true significance of disease as it has affected cultures throughout the centuries.

Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor in 1978, while suffering from breast cancer herself. In her study she reveals that the metaphors and myths surrounding certain illnesses, especially cancer, add greatly to the suffering of the patients and often inhibit them from seeking proper treatment. By demystifying the fantasies surrounding cancer, Sontag shows cancer for what it is - a disease; not a curse, not a punishment, certainly not an embarrassment, and highly curable, if good treatment is found early enough. Almost a decade later, with the outbreak of a new, stigmatized disease replete with mystifications and punitive metaphors, Sontag wrote Aids and Its Metaphors, extending the argument of the earlier book to the AIDS pandemic.

  • Pub date: 10 January 2003
  • ISBN: 9780141187129
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Susan Sontag

Date: 2002-10-18
Susan Sontag is the author of four novels, The Benefactor, Death Kit, The Volcano Lover and In America which won the National Book Award, 2000. She is also the author of I, etcetera, a collection of stories; several plays, including Alice in Bed; and five works of non-fiction, among them On Photography and Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. She died in 2004.

Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. She is the author of four novels, a collection of stories, several plays, and six books of essays, among them Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. Her books are translated into thirty-two languages. In 2001 she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for the body of her work, and in 2003 she received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. She died in December 2004.

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