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  • Published: 8 October 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473579231
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 1152

Red Comet

The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath




The first biography of this great and tragic poet that takes advantage of a wealth of new material, this is an unusually balanced, comprehensive and definitive life of Sylvia Plath.

The first biography of this great and tragic poet that takes advantage of a wealth of new material, this is an unusually balanced, comprehensive and definitive life of Sylvia Plath.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; and her Cambridge years and thunderclap meeting with Ted Hughes, a true marriage of minds that would change the course of poetry in English. 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.

  • Published: 8 October 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473579231
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 1152

About the author

Heather Clark

Heather Clark earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Harvard University and her doctorate in English from Oxford University. She is the author of two award-winning books on post-war poetry, The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes and The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962–1972. She divides her time between Chappaqua, New York, and Yorkshire, England, where she is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the University of Huddersfield.

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