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The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956
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A major literary event: the first volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Sylvia Plath—most never before seen.

One of the most beloved poets of the modern age, Sylvia Plath continues to inspire and fascinate the literary world. While her renown as one of the twentieth century's most influential poets is beyond dispute, Plath was also one of its most captivating correspondents. The Letters of Sylvia Plath is the breathtaking compendium of this prolific writer's correspondence with more than 120 people, including family, friends, contemporaries, and colleagues.

The Letters of Sylvia Plath includes her correspondence from her years at Smith, her summer editorial internship in New York City, her time at Cambridge, her experiences touring Europe, and the early days of her marriage to Ted Hughes in 1956.

Most of the letters are previously unseen, including sixteen letters written by Plath to Hughes when they were apart after their honeymoon. This magnificent compendium also includes twenty-seven of Plath's own elegant line drawings taken from the letters she sent to her friends and family, as well as twenty-two previously unpublished photographs.

This remarkable, collected edition of Plath's letters is a work of immense scholarship and care, presenting a comprehensive and historically accurate text of the known and extant letters that she wrote. Intimate and revealing, this masterful compilation offers fans and scholars generous and unprecedented insight into the life of one of our most significant poets.

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Street Date:
10/17/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062740441
ASIN:
B06XBK4LH2
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APA Citation (style guide)

Sylvia Plath. (2017). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sylvia Plath. 2017. The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956. Harper.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sylvia Plath, The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956. Harper, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sylvia Plath. The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956. Harper, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.

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A major literary event: the first volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Sylvia Plath—most never before seen.

One of the most beloved poets of the modern age, Sylvia Plath continues to inspire and fascinate the literary world. While her renown as one of the twentieth century's most influential poets is beyond dispute, Plath was also one of its most captivating correspondents. The Letters of Sylvia Plath is the breathtaking compendium of this prolific writer's correspondence with more than 120 people, including family, friends, contemporaries, and colleagues.

The Letters of Sylvia Plath includes her correspondence from her years at Smith, her summer editorial internship in New York City, her time at Cambridge, her experiences touring Europe, and the early days of her marriage to Ted Hughes in 1956.

Most of the letters are previously unseen, including sixteen letters written by Plath to Hughes when they were apart after their...

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title
The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1
fullDescription

A major literary event: the first volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Sylvia Plath—most never before seen.

One of the most beloved poets of the modern age, Sylvia Plath continues to inspire and fascinate the literary world. While her renown as one of the twentieth century's most influential poets is beyond dispute, Plath was also one of its most captivating correspondents. The Letters of Sylvia Plath is the breathtaking compendium of this prolific writer's correspondence with more than 120 people, including family, friends, contemporaries, and colleagues.

The Letters of Sylvia Plath includes her correspondence from her years at Smith, her summer editorial internship in New York City, her time at Cambridge, her experiences touring Europe, and the early days of her marriage to Ted Hughes in 1956.

Most of the letters are previously unseen, including sixteen letters written by Plath to Hughes when they were apart after their honeymoon. This magnificent compendium also includes twenty-seven of Plath's own elegant line drawings taken from the letters she sent to her friends and family, as well as twenty-two previously unpublished photographs.

This remarkable, collected edition of Plath's letters is a work of immense scholarship and care, presenting a comprehensive and historically accurate text of the known and extant letters that she wrote. Intimate and revealing, this masterful compilation offers fans and scholars generous and unprecedented insight into the life of one of our most significant poets.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Paul Alexander, Washington Post
      • content: "Engaging and revealing, The Letters of Sylvia Plath offers a captivating look into the life and inner thinking of one of the most influential writers of the 20th century."
      • premium: False
      • source: Parul Sehgal, New York Times
      • content: "But these early letters reveal something the journals don't: a flicker of uncertainty about Hughes that now seems prophetic...It's not Plath's death necessarily, or even the dissolution of her marriage, but her doubleness that's been the abiding mystery...The achievement of this avalanche of letters is that it disabuses everyone of the notion that Plath wasn't aware of her contradictions or in (some) control of them."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
      • content: "A monumental gathering, in the first of two volumes, of the scattered correspondence of the now iconic—and canonical—poet and novelist...a multifaceted portrait of a thoughtful young woman who might have gone on to even greater accomplishments than she did... A literary milestone."
      • premium: False
      • source: Hamilton Cain, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
      • content: "THE LETTERS OF SYLVIA PLATH underscores Plath's jaw-dropping output, her rapid growth from merely talented to singular voice...Tapping well-known archives and unearthing fresh specimens...The result is a comprehensive portrait of the artist as a young woman, ardently — unnervingly — committed to literature and relationships."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sandra M. Gilbert, The American Scholar
      • content: "Proustian in detail...giving us an incomparable portrait of American girlhood in the mid-20th century...Plath rises to wonderfully passionate heights in the love letters to Ted Hughes with which this first installment of her correspondence concludes."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "This scintillating and poignant autobiography in letters ends with their exultant marriage. For all of Plath's published works and myriad inquiries into her relationship with Hughes and suicide at age 30, her letters blaze with fresh and stunning revelations, with more to come."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "This is a valuable, significant addition to the body of Plath scholarship."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Spectator (UK)
      • content: "As the volume of her writings available to the public has become near-exhaustive, another Plath has become visible. Neither the magnificent harpy of Ariel, nor the haunting Dido figure of Birthday Letters, and not a cypher for female suffering under male brutality or a model of madness either; but a woman entire: funny, ambitious, paradoxical, wildly clever and alive...In her correspondence, we find more of the writer she was without Hughes, and the artist she could have been had she survived."
      • premium: False
      • source: Erica Wagner, New Statesman (UK)
      • content: "Her life had so many facets...but this aspect of her young life, her determination, is never less than inspiring for the reader privileged to see her correspondence long after her death."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daphne Merkin, Wall Street Journal
      • content: "These letters seem both a way for Plath to present herself to the world and a means of self-discovery...I found myself caught up in the emerging facets of Plath's complex character...her strong yet fragilely put-together identity...There is, though, a certain thrill in reading along as Plath the dedicated artist hoves into view."
      • premium: False
      • source: Hudson Review
      • content: "In this collection of letters, Sylvia Plath creates herself, narratively, stylistically, and imaginatively....What truth we can find about her, therefore, arises from reading the whole volume and witnessing how Plath's development as a person deeply intertwines with her increasing power, range, and stylistic control as a writer."
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2017
        A monumental gathering, in the first of two volumes, of the scattered correspondence of the now iconic--and canonical--poet and novelist.Although her name is a byword for tragedy, Plath (1932-1963) was a talented writer whose life merits more currency than as the depressed wife of British poet Ted Hughes. Much of Plath's promise is revealed in this collection of letters from 1940 until her marriage to Hughes in 1956. These letters alone serve to solidify her reputation as a skilled, thoughtful observer of the world and her own psyche. As Plath scholars Steinberg and Kukil note, an early collection of Plath's correspondence, published in 1975, was incomplete and marked by editorial omissions and alterations; their aim in this project is "to present a complete and historically accurate text of all the known, existing letters to a full range of her correspondents." In this, they have been remarkably successful. If some of the letters, especially the early ones, are of the mundane sort ("my complexion is showing signs of improvement daily," writes the self-conscious teenager), this inaugural volume makes for a multifaceted portrait of a thoughtful young woman who might have gone on to even greater accomplishments than she did--and these, we learn here, extended to art and philately as well as literature. Knowing how the story ends prompts readers, of course, to seek signs of Plath's later difficulties in these early pieces, many of which are of a confessional nature and written as if with an audience in mind. Indeed, such signs are to be found, as when the collegiate Plath writes to her mother, in a time commemorated by her novel The Bell Jar, "the crux of the matter is my attitude toward life--hinging on my science course. I have practically considered committing suicide to get out of it....I have become really frantic: small choices and events seem insurmountable obstacles, the core of life has fallen apart." A literary milestone: essential to any student of Plath's work and, by extension, of modern literature.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 2, 2017
        Editors Steinberg (These Ghostly Archives) and Kukil (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath) present the first of two volumes collecting the entire available oeuvre of Plath’s letters, many published here for the first time. As they note, more than 700 letters have been lost, destroyed, or kept in private hands. The collection, which includes 838 letters, provides both a fascinating window into Plath’s life and a social history of the 1940s and ’50s as seen through white middle-class eyes. Most letters are to Plath’s mother, Aurelia, written from various summer camps, Smith College, and Cambridge, where Plath studied on a Fulbright scholarship. Almost always ecstatically upbeat, they document the extent to which Plath performed a happy role for her mother, whether she is praising an “amazing telegram” from Aurelia or exulting in the “glorious country-clubby life” she is leading at Smith. The few letters to her friend Ann Davidow-Goodman, her brother Warren, and her boyfriends offer glimpses of a different, gloomier side. Only a handful allude to her attempted suicide at age 20; most revealing is a December 28, 1953 letter to correspondent Eddie Cohen. Worshipful letters to Ted Hughes, whom Plath married in 1958, reveal her increasing abjection and dependence—“you must scold me, beat me, help me.” Because they provide a largely distorted look at her troubled life, the letters deserve fuller annotation. Nevertheless, this is a valuable, significant addition to the body of Plath scholarship.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        October 15, 2017
        Letter writing was a serious art form for revered poet Plath, note the editors of this monumental collection, the first of two volumes containing Plath's complete and unabridged letters, most never before published. Plath was a vibrant and captivating correspondent, entertaining and confiding as well as spectacularly descriptive, analytical, intimate, and witty. Intensely ambitious, she pushed herself relentlessly, even recklessly, to succeed and reported tirelessly on both her struggles and escapades in long, newsy letters from summer camp, Smith College, New York City, Cambridge (thanks to a Fulbright), and Europe. Writing was another form of breathing for Plath, and her letters were veritable lifelines. Plath's hunger for experience and artistic expression was depthless, and though depression stalked her, she lived a dizzyingly full, demanding, and creative life. Then she collided with her own personal supernova, the English poet Ted Hughes. This scintillating and poignant autobiography in letters ends with their exultant marriage. For all of Plath's published works and myriad inquiries into her relationship with Hughes and suicide at age 30, her letters blaze with fresh and stunning revelations, with more to come.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

subtitle
1940-1956
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