Where the Stress Falls is divided into three sections: the first, 'Reading', includes ardent pieces on writers from Sontag's own private canon - Machado de Assis, Barthes, W. G. Sebald, Borges, Tsvetaeva and Elizabeth Hardwick. In the second, 'Seeing', she shares her passions for film, dance, photography, painting, opera and theatre. And in the final section, 'There and Here', Sontag explores her own commitments to the work (and activism) of conscience and to the vocation of the writer.
Susan Sontag was born in Manhattan in 1933 and studied at the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Oxford. Her non-fiction works include Against Interpretation, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, AIDS and its Metaphors and Regarding the Pain of Others. She is also the author of four novels, a collection of stories and several plays. 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.