“Your corrections are biting, maternal, just. Your example is luminous.” These words float on the page in susan sontag's last novel, In America, near the end of the book (349). The reader isn't surprised by the indirection of the address, the fused “you” of the narrator's voice looped through the character's. Sontag has been present from the first pages, in which she finds herself traveling through time to nineteenth-century Poland, into a drawing room at a party. She moves about pleasantly dislocated, examining her statuesque characters caught in a tableau vivant as she is about to set them free. They will be freer than Sontag's four grandparents likely were when coming from Poland to America, yet this small group of fictional friends will be swept up in the centripetal power of a charismatic personality with exceptional talent, the historical actress Maryna Z. Now, as the novel is about to close, Maryna is poised to be the inspiring, compelling director of her own small repertory company in America. We have come to trust her completely. The praise for her efforts, those words about correction and example, comes from somewhere over the stage lights out of the depths of some metaphysical, darkened theater but also from inner admonishment and fair-minded assessment. This is how she must be, our Sontag-Maryna; this is what art requires, this is what is needed.