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."