Who's in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sylvia Plath?

The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath (Bloomsbury Academic, 21 April 2022) can be pre-ordered now via the publisher website, other booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Blackwells and Waterstones, and, of course, Amazon. It is scheduled to be published in six short months from today.

The book description from the website reads:

"Sylvia Plath is one of the most widely recognised and inspiring poets of the 20th century. With chapters written by more than 25 leading and emerging international scholars this is the most up-to-date and in-depth reference guide to 21st century scholarship on her life and work.

"The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath covers the full range of contemporary scholarship on Plath's work, including such topics as:

· New insights from the publication of Plath's letters
· Current scholarly perspectives: feminist and gender studies, race, medical humanities and ecocriticism
· Plath's poetry, the major novel, The Bell Jar, and Plath's writing for children
· Plath's literary contexts, from Ovid and Robert Lowell to Ted Hughes, Doris Lessing and Stevie Smith
· Plath's broadcasting work for the BBC

"The book also includes a substantial annotated bibliography of key primary and secondary writing by and on the author."

Below is the table of contents, obtained from the publisher's website.

Introduction: Approaching Sylvia Plath in the 21st Century

I: New Cultural and Historical Contexts

1. Plath as Punch Line by Jonathan Ellis

2. "Get bathrobe and slippers and nightgown & work on femininity": Sylvia Plath, Self-Identity, and Sleepwear by Rebecca C. Tuite

3. Psychiatric Disability and Asylum Fiction: From The Snake Pit to The Bell Jar by Elizabeth J. Donaldson

4. Sylvia Plath's Cambridge by Di Beddow

5. Plath in Space: Feeling the Chill of the Void by Tim Hancock

6. Spectral Traces, Spaces, and Sylvia Plath by Gail Crowther

7. <maniacs.> of the Heterotopia: Citizen Critics and Marginalia in Library Copies of Sylvia Plath by Christine Walde

8. "God's Lioness" and God's "Negress": The Feminine and the Figure of the African American in Plath by Jerome Ellison Murphy

9. Sylvia Plath's Apprenticeship: Constructing a White Literary Imagination by Maeve O'Brien

10. The Child Reading: Female Stereotypes and Social Authority in Sylvia Plath's Children's Stories by Lissi Athanasiou-Krikelis

11. "Lucent Figs and Suave Veal Chops”": Plath and Food by Lynda K. Bundtzen


II: Affiliations, Influences, and Intertextualities

12. Sylvia Plath's Greek Tragedy by Holly Ranger

13. "Yeats I like very very much": Sylvia Plath and W. B. Yeats by Gillian Groszewski

14. The Law of Similarity and the Law of Contact: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Sympathetic Magic by Katherine Robinson

15. "I am a miner": Long Poems and Literary Succession in Ariel and Crow by Jennifer Ryan-Bryant

16. "Not Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Sillitoe": Sylvia Plath and Ruth Fainlight in the 1960s by Heather Clark

17. Beelines: Reading Plath through Edith Sitwell and Carol Ann Duffy by Marsha Bryant

18. Medusa's Metadata: Aurelia Plath's Gregg Shorthand Annotations by Catherine Rankovic

19. "I may hate her, but that's not all": Mother-Daughter Intimacy in the Plath Archive by Janet Badia


III: Media and Pedagogy

20. Plath and Media Culture by Nicola Presley

21. "I imagine that a man might not praise it as much": Reception of "Three Women" and Plath's BBC-Recorded Poetry by Carrie Smith

22. Plath's "Three Women": Producing a Poetics of Listening at the BBC by Nerys Williams

23. Sylvia Plath's “The Jailor” as Radical Feminist Text by Bethany Hicok

24. Archival Pedagogy: Curating Edna O'Brien's Sylvia Plath Screenplay by Amanda Golden

25. Feminist Recovery, Service Learning, and Community Engagement in a Sylvia Plath Studies Undergraduate Seminar by Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick


IV: Editing the Archives

26. Sylvia Plath in the Round by Karen V. Kukil

27. "They will come asking for our letters": Editing The Letters of Sylvia Plath by Peter K. Steinberg


Bibliography & Index


My own contribution is: “They Will Come Asking for Our Letters”: Editing The Letters of Sylvia Plath. It was adapted and enlarged from my keynote talk given at the "Sylvia Plath: Letters, Words and Fragments" conference held at Ulster University, 10-11 November 2017. It is a privilege to be included in this volume.

If you benefited from this post or any content on the Sylvia Plath Info Blog, my website for Sylvia Plath (A celebration, this is), and @sylviaplathinfo on Twitter, then please consider sending me a tip via PayPal. Thank you for at least considering! All funds will be put towards my Sylvia Plath research.

All links accessed 16 September and 20 October  2021.

Comments