Loving Sylvia Plath: A Reclamation (Hardcover)

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A nuanced, passionate exploration of the life and work of one of the most misunderstood writers of the twentieth century.

Sylvia Plath is an object of enduring cultural fascination—the troubled patron saint of confessional poetry, a writer whose genius is buried under the weight of her status as the quintessential literary sad girl. Emily Van Duyne—a superfan and scholar—radically reimagines the last years of Plath’s life, confronts her suicide and the construction of her legacy. Drawing from decades of study on Plath and her husband, Ted Hughes, the chief architect of Plath’s mythology; the life and tragic suicide of Assia Wevill, Hughes’s mistress; newly available archival materials; and a deep understanding of intimate partner violence, Van Duyne seeks to undo the silencing of Sylvia Plath and resuscitate her as the hardworking, brilliant writer she was.

About the Author

Emily Van Duyne is an associate professor at Stockton University and a 2022 Fulbright Scholar. Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Harvard Review, and American Poetry Review. She lives in New Jersey.

Praise For…

Emily Van Duyne reveals Plath as she was: the best of her, the worst of her, the parts she hid in plain sight, the parts she made harder to find. I inhaled Loving Sylvia Plath: A Reclamation like (what else?) air.

— Jessica DeFino, Guardian columnist and beauty reporter

Loving Sylvia Plath is indeed a reclamation, and one that not only centers, but in many ways, resurrects Plath’s own voice to speak her own truth.

— Gail Crowther, author of Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz

Brilliant, lyrical, and moving, Loving Sylvia Plath is a riveting story of misogynistic abuse, gaslighting, and the way our culture protects treasured male heroes at the cost of female victims. A must-read for any feminist, any lover of literature, and anyone who simply values a gripping story.

— Kate Manne, author of Unshrinking

Product Details
ISBN: 9781324006978
ISBN-10: 1324006978
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English