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The couple had a son, David Rieff, who went on to be his mother's editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, as well as a writer in his own right. Despite a relatively small output, Sontag thought of herself principally as a novelist and writer of fiction.Sontag was awarded an American Association of University Women's fellowship for the 1957–1958 academic year to St Anne's College, Oxford, where she traveled without her husband and son. Her short story "The Way We Live Now" was published to great acclaim on November 24, 1986 in The New Yorker.
After Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa death sentence against writer Salman Rushdie for blasphemy after the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses that year, Sontag's uncompromising support of Rushdie was crucial in rallying American writers to his cause.There she concludes that the problem of our reliance on images and especially photographic images is not that "people remember through photographs but that they remember only the photographs ...that the photographic image eclipses other forms of understanding—and remembering. To remember is, more and more, not to recall a story but to be able to call up a picture" (p. She became a role-model for many feminists and aspiring female writers during the 1960s and 1970s.Only a woman of her prestige could have performed the necessary critique and debunking of the first instant-canon feminist screeds, such as those of Kate Millett or Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, whose middlebrow mediocrity crippled women's studies from the start.No patriarchal villains held Sontag back; her failures are her own.