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Sylvia Plath: A Biography
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The brief life and meteoric career of Sylvia Plath have been the subject of fascination since her suicide in 1963 at age thirty. This concise, well-researched biography recounts the facts of her troubled life based on the latest updated research. Biographer Connie Ann Kirk has consulted the Plath archives at Smith College and the University of Indiana Bloomington, as well as Plath's unabridged journals published in 2000. She has also interviewed a Plath contemporary who knew her. What emerges is a balanced portrait that takes a neutral stance between the divided factions in the blame game surrounding her suicide. Kirk describes the outrage directed against Plath's estranged husband, Ted Hughes. Many accused him, not only of causing her death because of his philandering, but also of heavy-handed editing of her posthumous work. But Kirk notes that others have attributed her tragic end mainly to deep-seated psychological factors over which she and those close to her had little control: her lifelong battle with depression; her difficult relationship with her parents, especially her father; and the pressures of balancing a literary career with the roles of wife and mother. This excellent, very readable biography includes photographs, a time line, a family tree, a list of books in Sylvia Plath's personal library, and a bibliography of works by and about her.
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Table of Contents

Preface; Timeline; Who Was Sylvia? Beyond the Icon; Early Life & Family (Pre-1932-1936); The Golden Schoolgirl (1937-1955); The Academic Life (1950-1955); A Poet's Life & a Poet's Wife (1956-1961); The Bell Jar Cracks (1962-1963); After Plath: Mysteries & Controversies; Index.

About the Author

Connie Ann Kirk (Corning, NY) has also written biographies of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, and J. K. Rowling, as well as student guides to Robert Frost and Jane Austen, among other works. She is a visiting professor of English at Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA.

Reviews

"A concise, thorough, well-written biography of the poet and novelist Sylvia Plath." -- WRITERS' Journal, November/December 2009

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