01 May 2018

Update: The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2

Hello! It is with great pleasure to let  you know that Sunday night, 29 April 2018, I sent in the files to Faber & Faber for The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2: 1956-1963.

[twiddling thumbs]

        [still twiddling thumbs]

                       [now what to do?]

The HarperCollins edition,
to be published on 30 October 2018.

The files included the final, final, final, final, final, final (etc.) proof of book itself, the front matter, the image plates & captions, and the index. Having read the volume four times since last August already, I feel it a good book and certainly, obviously, picks up from where Volume 1 concludes. I am sure you have questions. However, as in the aftermath of finishing Volume 1, I am not able at the moment to discuss anything about the volume, so I do appreciate that each of you will not ask questions!  The UK cover is under review; so as soon as it is finalized and I have permission I will post in here and on Twitter, etc. 

Within the turning of one calendar year---the volumes are Irish twins, essentially---we have produced out two massive volumes of Plath's letters! All for you! And my head is spinning at how we did it. Of course the project started years ago and it is hard to remember a time when I was not working on the letters! The two volumes have more than 960,000 words! (The front matter and index easily bumps the word count to more than one million!) I nearly single-handedly transcribed and proofed Plath's letters (more than 1300 of them) and created the vast majority of the more than 3,600 footnotes. In addition, I selected the images, wrote all the captions, secured permissions, etc. My mantra throughout the project was a line from Plath's poem "The Rabbit Catcher": "There was only one place to get to." Well, we are just about there and to know that the second volume is 128 days (or just over 4 months) from publication, and thus into your hands, fills me with an enormous sense of happiness.  

It has been the privilege of my life to work on these books for you. I did my best and gave everything that I could to try to ensure that the text you read is as close as possible to the text of Plath's original letters (look for my tell-all book later in the year to be published by Career Enders, Inc.). Early mornings, sleepless nights: day in and day out, in sickness and in health, with probably fewer than a week of days off in the course of the project. My deepest thanks for the trust placed in my by Frieda Hughes. 

Look for The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2, to be published by Faber and Faber on 6 September 2018; and by HarperCollins on 30 October 2018

All links accessed 29 April 2018.


suki said...

Good on you Peter. Really looking forward to this!

Amy Rea said...

CONGRATS! And thank you so much for all your hard work!

Peter Fydler said...

Well done... Can't wait to find out what the LAST LETTER is!

Anonymous said...

oh my God!! I'm SO happy SO thrilled! thank u, Peter and CONGRATULATIONS from the bottom of my heart and my soul, thank you so much for all your hard work; it is OUR privilege to have the honour to have the opportunity and the luck and the gift from u to be reading this second volume of the letters. I'm so excited for it, can't wait to have it here. thank u for this amazing (and not only this!) new work of u. now u need all the good and well deserved rest, physical and mental rest, u so much need. thank u endlessly Peter. My best and dearest congratulations.


rdalpay said...

So excited to read this book. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to this project.

Eva Stenskar said...

I'm so looking forward to this book! Love the passport photo on the cover. Thank you thank you thank you for all the hard work. How does it feel now that it is all over?

Elizabeth said...

Mine is already pre-ordered! Congratulations, and thank you for your hard work. I know when I finished Volume 1 I felt such a void in my life where Sylvia's voice had been- I can only imagine how it feels after years of working on a project such as this.

A Piece of Plathery said...

The biggest of HURRAHS and I have ordered the US and UK editions :) xxxx

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.