Remembering Sylvia Plath: 3 Books About Her Life

Poet and writer Sylvia Plath passed away on February 11, 1963, but interest in her works and her importance to readers has hardly waned a bit over the years.

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Sylvia Plath

Poet and writer Sylvia Plath passed away on February 11, 1963, but interest in her works and her importance to readers has hardly waned a bit over the years.

Maybe you’ve read Ariel or The Bell Jar and want to know more about the woman behind them, or even pored over the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath — there’s always more to learn about this short-lived but extremely prolific writer.

Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather L. Clark

Red Comet having come out in late 2020 proves that even after decades of reading and analyzing Sylvia Plath, she was interesting enough a figure that there’s always more to be said about her. What’s more — it was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and made it into the New York Times’ top ten books of the year. It’s a sprawling biography at just over a thousand pages long, and author Heather Clark combed through Plath’s early diaries, school writings, and anything she could find to produce perhaps the most comprehensive biography of Plath to date.

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Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson

Named for Plath’s own poem from college titled “Mad Girl’s Love Song,” this biography focuses on her youth and early life before her marriage to Ted Hughes. After she passed, Ted Hughes assumed control of her literary estate and exercised control over information about Sylvia Plath that was known to the public. This book is an effort to present an untainted portrait of her as a young woman and reclaim her from being seen only in conjunction to Hughes.

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Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath by Paul Alexander

There’s a common theme among certain Sylvia Plath biographies in that they set out to praise her writing talent, intelligence, and eloquence rather than feed into the intrigue and glorification of her depression and suicide in a tabloid manner. Rough Magic shares this aim, and Paul Alexander focalizes Plath’s own writing and voice in the story of her life drawn from interviews and archives.

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For more on Sylvia Plath go to Bookstr!

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