Nov. 13 Event Will Highlight Smith's Role
in Two New and Noted Books About Sylvia Plath
Mass. -- With the recent release of a feature film about
her life, Sylvia Plath, Smith College's most famous poet, is back in
At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in Neilson
Library Browsing Room, two noted authors of new works about Plath will
from and sign their books.
Kate Moses' novel "Wintering" focuses
on the last months of Plath's life, during which she created the poems
of "Ariel," considered
by many scholars her most powerful collection. In moving,
evocative prose, Moses envisions Plath as she cares for
her young children during
one of London's harshest winters, rages at her husband's
infidelities and defection and struggles to write what
would be her last poems.
Compellingly blending fact and fiction, Moses creates a
portrait in which, as one critic put it, "her habitation of Plath's
body and mind feels complete."
Diane Middlebrook's biography, "Her
Husband: Hughes & Plath,
a Marriage," provides a portrait of the poet Ted Hughes and reveals
how his life and art were shaped by his marriage to Plath.
A tumultuous relationship and an intense creative partnership,
marriage lasted less than seven years but yielded an enormous
and controversial literary and critical legacy. Among her
sources, Middlebrook drew on
archival materials only recently made available, revealing
insights that debunk several long-held theories about Plath
and Hughes. Middlebrook
wrote the new introduction to the 1998 edition of Plath's
Bell Jar" and is the author of the bestselling "Anne Sexton:
A Biography," a finalist for a National Book Award.
and Middlebrook researched their books using Smith College's
4,000-page collection of original Plath
documents. The extensive collection of Plath's literary
and personal papers is
the most popular holding of the college's Mortimer Rare
Book Room. Plath was an undergraduate at Smith from 1950
to 1955 and an instructor
in the English department from 1957 to 1958. At the heart
of Plath's papers are successive drafts of her "Ariel" poems
and drafts of "The Bell Jar." The collection is curated by
Karen Kukil, associate curator of rare books and editor
Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950 to 1962."
The event is
free and open to the public.
Office of College
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174
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