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Susan Sontag

Age: 71

influential, highly intellectual, and sometimes polarizing writer and critic whose work covered a broad range of subjects, including illness, photography, war, popular culture, and politics. An advocate of the importance of style, Sontag wrote four novels, including The Benefactor, The Volcano Lover, and In America. She won a National Book Award, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant. In addition to her novels, Sontag wrote dozens of essays, screenplays, and short stories.

Died: Manhattan, December 28, 2004

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