Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters

Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters

by Erica Wagner


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"This erudite critical study...breathes new life into Plath scholarship."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

When Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters was published in 1998, it was greeted with astonishment and acclaim, immediately landing on the bestseller list. Few suspected that Hughes had been at work for a quarter of a century on this cycle of poems addressed to his first wife, Sylvia Plath. In Ariel's Gift, Erica Wagner explores the destructive relationship between these two poets through their lives and their writings. She provides a commentary to the poems in Birthday Letters, showing the events that shaped them and, crucially, showing how they draw upon Plath's own work. "Both narratively engaging and scholastically comprehensive."—Thomas Lynch, Los Angeles Times "Wagner has set the poems of Hughes's Birthday Letters in the context of his marriage to Plath with great delicacy."—Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393323016
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/17/2002
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,198,000
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Erica Wagner is the author of Gravity, a book of stories, and Ariel’s Gift. She was born in New York and lives in London, where she is literary editor of The Times.

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