The essayist and novelist's new book, called AIDS and Its Metaphors, examines the discourse surrounding the disease. Sontag is a cancer survivor; a previous book about language and sickness is titled Illness as Metaphor. She joins Fresh Air to talk about how cancer changed her thinking and made her a more compassionate person.
Diagnosed with cancer for the third time, Susan Sontag signed on for a harsh treatment regimen in hopes it would keep her alive. But it only added to her suffering. Her son, journalist David Rieff, has published a memoir about his mother's "revolt against death."