Title: The Bell Jar
Publisher: Harper & Row, New York
Publication Date: 1971
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good
Edition: First Edition.
First U.S. edition, stated; no number line on page 296. Plath's only novel, first published under a pseudonym (Victoria Lucas) in 1963 by Heinemann, and in the U.S. not until 1971, eight years after her suicide. Biographical note by Lois Ames; pen-and-ink drawings by Plath. Halfbound in purple and white paper-covered boards with the H&R 1817 colophon at the bottom corner of the front board and a purple cloth, white- and silver-lettered spine; top page edges tinted light purple, here somewhat faded and spotted. Book is unmarked; spine slant; some edgewear to corners and bottom board edges; spine ends bumped. The dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $6.95 at top of front flap; 0471 at bottom of front flap); edgewear at spine ends and corners; a quarter-inch closed tear at bottom of spine; Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 006710
Synopsis: "Esther Greenwood's account of her years in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing - [this] is not a potboiler, nor a series of ungrateful caricatures; it is literature."
-The New York Times
"McDormand gives a sensitive, intimate performance. Herdry, ironic tone, covering up for an undercurrent of fear, perfectly capturesthe character of Esther."
The Bell Jar is a classic of American literature, with over two million copies sold in this country. This extraordinary work chronicles the crackup of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful -- but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time. Step by careful step, Sylvia Plath takes us with Esther through a painful month in New York as a contest-winning junior editor on a magazine, her increasingly strained relationships with her mother and the boy she dated in college, and eventually, devastatingly, into the madness itself. The reader is drawn into her breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies.
Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is rare in any novel. It points to the fact that The Bell Jar is a largely autobiographical work about Plath's own summer of 1953, when she was a guest editor at Mademoiselle and went through a breakdown. It reveals so much about the sources of Sylvia Plath's own tragedy that its publication was considered a landmark in literature.
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under -- maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.
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