By examining the works and life of Sylvia Plath, Linda Wagner-Martin achieves to make the story of her growth into a consummate artist both dramatic and convincing. In her narrative of the accomplished, yet tentative American girl, Wagner-Martin brings the desire to become a writer to the center of Plath's life. By this, she humanizes Plath and brings her from the status of myth and legend to the normality of a talented woman who guides her life by her continuous attempts to achieve her literary aims.
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Linda Wagner-Martin is Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina.
Feminist icon and patron saint of moody coffeehouse poets, Sylvia Plath has been so overexposed that it is hard to see her with fresh eyes. This book, part of a useful series that focuses on writers' working lives, builds on such works as Jacqueline Rose's The Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Harvard Univ., 1992) to remind readers that, Plath's well-known personal suffering notwithstanding, "to read autobiographically...is to dismiss the artistry Plath demands of her writing, and often achieves in it." Thus, this study marks less a paradigm shift in Plath studies than a cutting away of the inessential and a consolidation of the best that is known. Collections that already have a substantial number of Plath studies, including Wagner-Martin's own Sylvia Plath: A Biography (1987), may not wish to add yet another item to an already groaning shelf, but readers who are familiar with Plath's writing and want to know more about its personal and professional contexts would do well to begin with this succinct, commonsensical study.ADavid Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
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Book Description Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1999, 1999. Book Condition: New. New hardback. May show some slight shelf wear but content fine and unread. Bookseller Inventory # A10580