Monday, June 17, 2013

Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 , Elizabeth Winder

This book is a fascinating glimpse into what the author argues is the most transformative time of Sylvia Plath's short life- the summer of 1953, she interned for Mademoiselle.
For fans of Plath, it offers a look into the true stories behind her only novel, The Bell Jar, and paints a portrait of Plath as an ambitious, high achieving woman, and gives the reader a look at Plath through the eyes of her contempories- the models for the characters Betsy, Doreen, and so on.
While much of this material has been unpublished, there is not a lot of substance to the book, and I wouldn't recommend it to a reader who wasn't familiar with at least The Bell Jar, but it is an excellent addition to any collection of works about Plath.
Some excellent tidbits of information- the background to the poem A Mad Girl's Love Song (one of my favorite pieces of Plath juvenilia) was a treat to read.

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