Sylvia Plath


Born
in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, The United States
October 27, 1932

Died
February 11, 1963

Genre

Influences


Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book's protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious student at Smith College who begins to experience a mental breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. The plot parallels Plath's experience interning at Mademoiselle magazine and subsequent mental breakdown and suicide attempt.

Along with Anne Sexton, Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry initiated by Robert Lowell and W.D. Snodgrass. Despite her remarkable artistic, academic, and social success at Smith, Plath suffered from severe depre
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Average rating: 4.03 · 616,162 ratings · 22,772 reviews · 122 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Bell Jar

3.99 avg rating — 493,962 ratings — published 1963 — 5 editions
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Ariel

4.22 avg rating — 45,232 ratings — published 1965 — 72 editions
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The Collected Poems

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4.20 avg rating — 29,840 ratings — published 1981 — 26 editions
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The Unabridged Journals of ...

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4.31 avg rating — 14,188 ratings — published 1982 — 42 editions
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The Colossus and Other Poems

4.19 avg rating — 9,103 ratings — published 1960 — 22 editions
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Ariel: The Restored Edition

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4.28 avg rating — 4,238 ratings — published 2004 — 11 editions
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Johnny Panic and the Bible ...

3.92 avg rating — 4,019 ratings — published 1977 — 55 editions
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Letters Home

4.20 avg rating — 2,546 ratings — published 1975 — 16 editions
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Crossing the Water

4.13 avg rating — 1,651 ratings — published 1971 — 15 editions
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Plath: Poems

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4.25 avg rating — 1,473 ratings — published 1987 — 21 editions
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More books by Sylvia Plath…
Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vo... The Letters of Sylvia Plath...
(2 books)
by
4.42 avg rating — 132 ratings

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Polls

December 2014 New School Classics Poll

Which book would you like to read for our December 2014 New School Classics group read?

1963, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, 288 pages
 
  33 votes, 20.1%

1930, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, 267 pages
 
  19 votes, 11.6%

 
  17 votes, 10.4%

 
  16 votes, 9.8%

1981, Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, 647 pages
 
  14 votes, 8.5%

 
  13 votes, 7.9%

1918, My Ántonia by Willa Cather, 232 pages
 
  12 votes, 7.3%

 
  12 votes, 7.3%

1932, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, 233 pages
 
  12 votes, 7.3%

 
  10 votes, 6.1%

1940, Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, 320 pages
 
  3 votes, 1.8%

1961, A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul, 623 pages
 
  2 votes, 1.2%

1992, Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, 630 pages
 
  1 vote, 0.6%

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