OVERRIDE

American Isis

The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath

Carl Rollyson

St. Martin's Press

On the fiftieth anniversary of her death, a startling new vision of Plath—the first to draw from the recently-opened Ted Hughes archive

The life and work of Sylvia Plath has taken on the proportions of myth. Educated at Smith, she had an epically conflict-filled relationship with her mother, Aurelia. She then married the poet Ted Hughes and plunged into the sturm and drang of married life in the full glare of the world of English and American letters. Her poems were fought over, rejected, accepted and, ultimately, embraced by readers everywhere. Dead at thirty, she committed suicide by putting her head in an oven while her children slept.
 
Her poetry collection titled Ariel became a modern classic. Her novel The Bell Jar has a fixed place on student reading lists. American Isis will be the first Plath bio benefitting from the new Ted Hughes archive at the British Library which includes forty one letters between Plath and Hughes as well as a host of unpublished papers. The Sylvia Plath Carl Rollyson brings to us in American Isis is no shrinking Violet overshadowed by Ted Hughes, she is a modern day Isis, a powerful force that embraced high and low culture to establish herself  in the literary firmament.

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CHAPTER 1
 

PRIMORDIAL CHILD OF TIME
(1932–50)
27 October 1932: Sylvia Plath born in Boston while her family lives in Winthrop, Massachusetts; 1934: Otto Plath publishes Bumblebees and Their Ways, a landmark study in entomology; 27 April 1935: Warren is born; 21 September 1938: The great New England hurricane; 5 November 1940: Otto Plath dies of an embolism after an amputation; 10 August 1941: Sylvia’s first poem is published in the Boston Herald; 7 December, The United States enters World War II; 1942: Aurelia Plath moves her family to Wellesley and begins teaching
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‘American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath,’ by Carl Rollyson - The Washington Post
Carl Rollyson offers a refreshingly judicious and even-handed new biography of the poet.
- The Washington Post

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Carl Rollyson

  • CARL ROLLYSON is professor of journalism at Baruch College, The City University of New York and the author of twelve biographies including Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress and, with his wife, Lisa Paddock, Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon. He reviews biographies regularly for The Wall Street Journal, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Washington Post, The New Criterion, and other papers. He writes a column every two weeks for bibliobuffet.com. He lives in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.
  • Carl Rollyson Celene McDermott
    Carl Rollyson
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American Isis

The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath

Carl Rollyson

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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