Writer Susan Sontag died Wednesday at age 71 of leukemia. We listen back to two interviews with her: a 1989 conversation about her book AIDS and Its Metaphors; and 1993 interview conducted shortly after Sontag returned from Sarajevo, where she directed a performance of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in Serbo-Croatian.
Disaster relief expert Fred Cuny. Since January he's been in Sarajevo, implementing new water and gas systems. A former professor of engineering and public affairs, Cuny is hired by governments and agencies to coordinate responses to floods, famines, cyclones, earthquakes. He says, "Disasters are a function of underdevelopment" and he finds much humanitarian aid and relief satisfies the needs of the donor before it helps the recipient. Cuny was a Senior advisor to the US government on the Somalia famine in 1992.
Writer and director Susan Sontag. Sontag is just back from Sarajevo, where she has been directing a performance of Beckett's "Waiting For Godot" in the Serbo-Croatian language. She is one of few arts figures to visit the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, a battle she calls "the Spanish Civil War of our time". Her latest novel is the "Volcano Lover," recently published in paperback by Anchor Books. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
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."
Writer David Rieff (pronounced "reef"). his new book, "Los Angeles: Capital of the Third World," looks at how the millions of poor immigrants that have come to the Los Angeles area in the past two decades have changed the shape of that city...changing it from the "City of Dreams" that's long been L.A.'s popular image, to a much poorer, problem-ridden,and diverse, place. Rieff says something similar is in store for many other American cities. (The book's published by Simon and Schuster).