26 July 2010

Books about Sylvia Plath: Update

Congratulations are in order to Luke Ferretter for the recent publication of his long-awaited Sylvia Plath’s Fiction: A Critical Study (University of Edinburgh Press). Copies are available from Amazon and other sellers.

In addition to Heather Clark’s forthcoming The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in January 2011, we now have An Essential Self: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, a Memoir to look forward to shortly from Five Leaves Publications. Publication in the US and the UK is 7 January 2011 (ISBN: 978-1907869013) (Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk)


Julia said...

Oooh! A memoir by Lucas Meyers! Now THAT is exciting!

I am now on their notify list to be told when it's available. Thanks for the tip!

Julia said...

P.S. Think it will be vastly different from "Crow Steered Bergs Appeared"? I learned so much about Sylvia from that, even though it is really more about Ted Hughes.

Arlaina said...

Is Sylvia Plath a big part of British literary culture? My husband is from Scotland and he knows all about Ted but never read any Sylvia Plath and heard her name mentioned in passing. Just wondering... He IS an engineer so, that could be the culprit right there.

Peter K Steinberg said...

Julia! I'm not sure what's going to be going on in Myers new memoir. I do hope it's new stuff. I enjoyed Crows Steered and will read it again before this new book comes out.

Arlaina, I think Plath is a big part of British literary culture, but obviously I'm an American and this is my perspective from a distance. I suspect his being an engineer might have something to do with it, but Plath I feel is a deep part of all culture - not just literary.

One thing I think of immediately is that new British Library Spoken Word CD. It made all the newspapers in England and though it's released here now... it hasn't received one mention anywhere. Which is a shame because obviously the CD is something quite special; it is also revisionary. In some ways I feel she is given a wider and a more fair treatment in the UK than here.

Does that in any way help? It's a difficult question because I think most of this blogs readers would think she is, and so objectively it might be hard to find an accurate answer. Are there any other opinions on this, particularly from any English readers?


Anonymous said...

I need to rob a bank to afford the Ferretter book! kim

Marion Mccready said...

You're right, Peter, it is hard to answer that question objectively!
But yes, I think Plath is a large part of British literary culture.

A couple of years back The
Guardian gave away a series of booklets of 'the greatest poets of the 20th century', not only was Plath included but she was the only female poet in the series to be included. That says it all really.

Though I'm not sure how much of Plath is taught in schools, whereas I'd imagine Hughes, his animal poems especially, being taught widely in primary and secondary.

Peter K Steinberg said...

I hear you Kim! It's a hefty price.

Thank you Marion for bringing up that Guardian booklet. It is a wonderful illustration of Plath's importance and reputation in British Literary culture.

I was "late" to Plath in my own schooling, not reading her (or knowing of her) until my junior year of college (1994-1995). But I was immediately struck by the power of the language and the emotion. My professor wasn't so keen on Plath and tried to dissuade me, which I felt was wrong.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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