The Benefactor: A Novel (Paperback)
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 In America, which won the 2000 National Book Award for Fiction; a collection of stories; several plays; and seven works of nonfiction. She died in New York City on December 28, 2004.
“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
Charles Finch raises the bar on his well loved gentleman Inspector Lenox character in this deeply resonant "prequel" that crosses the pond to the United States before the Civil War. As always, strong writing with characters you've gone to tea with with an added political theatre over slavery in this hard-to-put down mystery.