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Sylvia Plath: A Literary Life, Second Edition / Edition 2

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Sylvia Plath: A Literary Life examines the way Plath made herself into a writer. Close analysis of Plath's reading and apprenticeship writing both in fiction and poetry sheds considerable light on Plath's work in the late 1960s. In this updated edition there will be discussion of the aftermath of Plath's death, including the publication of her Collected Poems—edited by Ted Hughes—which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1982. Biographies of Plath will be examined along with the publication of Hughes's Birthday Letters. A chronology maps out key events and publications both in Plath's lifetime and posthumously.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
". . . readers who are familiar with Plath's writing and want to know more about its personal and professional contexts would do well to begin with this succinct, commonsensical study."—Library Jourbanal
Library Journal
Feminist icon and patron saint of moody coffeehouse poets, Sylvia Plath has been so overexposed that it is hard to see her with fresh eyes. This book, part of a useful series that focuses on writers' working lives, builds on such works as Jacqueline Rose's The Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Harvard Univ., 1992) to remind readers that, Plath's well-known personal suffering notwithstanding, "to read to dismiss the artistry Plath demands of her writing, and often achieves in it." Thus, this study marks less a paradigm shift in Plath studies than a cutting away of the inessential and a consolidation of the best that is known. Collections that already have a substantial number of Plath studies, including Wagner-Martin's own Sylvia Plath: A Biography (1987), may not wish to add yet another item to an already groaning shelf, but readers who are familiar with Plath's writing and want to know more about its personal and professional contexts would do well to begin with this succinct, commonsensical study.--David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
In this biography Wagner-Martin (English, U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill) narrates the well-known story of Plath's life through the way that story connects with American culture during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and with British culture during the last decade of Plath's life. She also examines Plath's life through her art, and uses her works, including letters and journals, to reveal to the reader an understandable progression of artistic growth and mental deterioration. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403916532
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/24/2003
  • Series: Literary Lives Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,461,167
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Wagner-Martin is the Frank Borden and Barbara Lasater Hanes Professor of English at theUniversity of North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Part I
• The Writing Life
• Creating Lives
• Creating the Persona of the Self
• Recalling the Bell Jar
• Lifting the Bell Jar
• Plath's Hospital Writing
• Defining Health
Part II
• The Jourbaney Toward Ariel
• Plath's Poems about Women
• Plath's Triumphant Woman Poems
• Getting Rid of Daddy
• Sylvia Plath, The Poet and Her Writing Life
• The Usurpation of Sylvia Plath's Narrative: Hughes's Birthday Letters
• Notes
• Bibliography (selected), Primary and Secondary
• Index

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