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Red comet : the short life and blazing art of Sylvia Plath / Heather Clark.

Clark, Heather L., (author.).

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Crookston Public Library 921 PLA (Text) 33500013324165 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780307961167
  • ISBN: 0307961168
  • Physical Description: pages cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2020.

Content descriptions

General Note:
Includes index.
Summary, etc.:
"An engrossing new biography of Sylvia Plath focuses on her remarkable literary and intellectual growth and achievement, restoring the vivid creative woman behind the longtime Plath myths perpetuated by a pathology-based approach to her life and art. With a wealth of never-before-accessed materials, Heather Clark here brings to life the brilliant daughter of Wellesley, MA who had poetic ambition from a very young age, and was an accomplished, published writer of poems and stories before she became the star English student at Smith College. Determined not to read Plath's work as if her every act, from childhood on, was a harbinger of her tragic fate, Clark presents new materials about Plath's scientist father, her juvenile writings, and her psychiatric treatment, and evokes a culture in transition in the mid-twentieth century, in the shadow of the atom bomb and the Holocaust, as she explores Sylvia's world: her early relationships and determination not to become a conventional woman and wife; her conflicted ties to her well-meaning, widowed mother; her troubles at the hands of an unenlightened mental health industry; her Cambridge years and thunderclap meeting with Ted Hughes, a marriage of true minds that would change the course of poetry in English; and much more. Clark's clear-eyed sympathy for Hughes, his lover Assia Wevill, and other demonized players in the arena of Plath's suicide promotes a deeper understanding of her final days, with their outpouring of first-rate poems. Along with illuminating readings of the poems themselves, Clark's meticulous, compassionate research brings us closer than ever to the spirited woman and visionary artist who blazed a trail that still lights the way for women poets the world over"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 October #2
    Sylvia Plath is a writer who generates deep cultural ambivalence: readers recognize the genius of the writing while also letting the details of Plath's life overdetermine and discolor the work. In her exhaustive new biography, Clark starts from scratch in defining Plath, carefully separating the popular myth of an unstable and overdramatic prodigy from the real Sylvia: troubled, yes, but also joyful in her reading, ruthlessly self-critical, and blazingly ambitious. Clark had access to material never before incorporated into a Plath biography, including letters and psychiatric records. This material not only fleshes out Plath herself, it also refocuses characters from the Plath-Hughes mythos, in particular Sylvia's mother, whose own memoir provides counterpoint to the fictional mother in Sylvia's novel, The Bell Jar, which has come to (mis)represent Plath's young adulthood. This additional material also prompts fresh readings of the poems, which makes the late work especially moving. In her introduction, Maggie Nelson writes, "To be called the Sylvia Plath of anything is a bad thing." Red Comet has the authority and insight to permanently correct that sentiment. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

HEATHER CLARK earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Harvard University and her doctorate in English from Oxford University. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Fellowship; a Leon Levy Biography Fellowship at the City University of New York; and a Visiting U.S. Fellowship at the Eccles Centre for American Studies, British Library. A former Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, she is the author of The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes and The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972. Her work has appeared in publications including Harvard Review and The Times Literary Supplement, and she recently served as the scholarly consultant for the BBC documentary Sylvia Plath: Life Inside the Bell Jar. She divides her time between Chappaqua, New York, and Yorkshire, England, where she is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the University of Huddersfield.

Subject: Plath, Sylvia.
Poets, American > 20th century > Biography.
Plath, Sylvia.
Poets, American.
Genre: Biographies.

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