"A scintillating and poignant autobiography in letters. . . . Her letters blaze with fresh and stunning revelations, with more to come."—Booklist on The Letters of Sylvia Plath Vol 1
One of Kirkus’s best books of 2018
The second volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Sylvia Plath, from the early years of her marriage to Ted Hughes to the final days leading to her suicide in 1963, many never before seen.
One of the most talented and beloved poets, Sylvia Plath continues to fascinate and inspire the modern literary imagination. The tragedy of her untimely death at age thirty, almost fifty-five years ago, has left much unknown about her creative and personal life. In this remarkable second volume of the iconic poet and writer’s collected letters, the full range of Plath’s ambitions, talents, fears, and perspective is made visible through her own powerful words.
As engaging as they are revealing, these remarkable letters cover the years from 1957 to 1963. They detail the last six tumultuous and prolific years of her life, covering her marriage to Ted Hughes, the births of her children Frieda and Nicholas, her early success, including the publication of the classic The Bell Jar, and her ongoing struggle with depression.
The first compendium of its kind to include all of Plath’s letters from this period, The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume 2 offers an intimate portrait of the writing life and mind of one of the most celebrated poets in literary history.
Completing the monumental task of collecting all of Plath's known and available letters, this volume goes from her 24th birthday in October 1956 to a week before her suicide, at age 30, in February 1963. Opening on a young writer determined to publish and a deliriously happy newlywed gushing about her husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes, the book follows Plath as she finishes her Fulbright at Cambridge; teaches for a year at her alma mater, Smith College; and then returns to England to settle into a country house in Devon. The collection is mordantly fascinating as it reveals a brilliant, complex woman trying to carve out her own time for writing in between secretarial tasks for her husband (she typed his manuscripts), caring for their two children, and housework. The book becomes downright agonizing after Hughes leaves her and Plath is left fighting "the return of my madness," even as she produces her best work, the poems comprising the collection Ariel, with a feeling of "writing in the blitz, bombs exploding all round." Unobtrusively edited and scrupulously footnoted, this set of letters is a dazzling literary achievement, capturing the tender beauty of Plath's richly lived, too short life.