Sylvia Plath began keeping a diary as a young child. By the time she was at Smith College, when this book begins, she had settled into a nearly daily routine with her journal, which was also a sourcebook for her writing. Plath once called her journal her “Sargasso,” her repository of imagination, “a litany of dreams, directives, and imperatives,” and in fact these pages contain the germs of most of her work. Plath’s ambitions as a writer were urgent and ultimately all-consuming, requiring of her a heat, a fantastic chaos, even a violence that burned straight through her. The intensity of this struggle is rendered in her journal with an unsparing clarity, revealing both the frequent desperation of her situation and the bravery with which she faced down her demons. Written in electrifying prose, The Journals of Sylvia Plath provide unique insight, and are essential reading for all those who have been moved and fascinated by Plath’s life and work.
About Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. She began publishing poems and stories as a teenager and by the time she entered Smith College had won several poetry prizes. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Cambridge, England, and married British poet Ted Hughes in London in 1956. The young couple moved to the States, where Plath became an instructor at Smith College, and had two children. Later, they moved back to England, where Plath continued writing poetry and wrote The Bell Jar, which was first published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in England in 1963. On February 11, 1963, Plath committed suicide. The Bell Jar was first published under her own name in the United States by Harper & Row in 1971, despite the protests of Plath's family. Plath's Collected Poems, published posthumously in 1981, won the Pulitzer Prize.
About Ted Hughes
Ted Hughes, late poet laureate of England, was born in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire, in 1930. After attending Cambridge University, he went on to become a well-known poet, novelist, and essayist with dozens of books to his credit. His last work, Birthday Letters, a poetry collection chronicling his relationship with American poet Sylvia Plath, was published shortly before his death in 1998 at the age of 68.