Life with Susan Sontag


In the 1970s, writer Sigrid Nunez moved in with her boyfriend and his mother. She hovered over the couple, critiqued their sex life, had an endless parade of house guests, and chided Nunez for not being more of a people-person. His mother was the already world-famous writer Susan Sontag.

“When she came home, though it was late, though David and I might be already in bed, she would knock. “May I come in?” (The shyness in her voice through that closed door was heartbreaking.) David and I slept on a mattress on the floor. A small sofa stood near it. She would settle on the sofa, light a cigarette and begin telling us about her evening. I sometimes fell asleep while she was still talking.”

Nunez discusses the unconventional three-person relationship in her book, Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag.

(via Arts & Letters Daily)

Jill Haberkern has lived in a one-room house made of tombstones and a farmhouse with a walrus head. She currently lives in Berkeley, California, with neither. Her writing has appeared in the Mid-American Review. More from this author →