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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Pain, Parties, Work

I get pretty lucky with books I'm supposed to review. Not only do most of them show up in my mailbox with nice covers, but I usually enjoy what I read. Like 4 or 5 star ratings.

But I just don't know if I can be best friends with Sylvia Plath.

Yesterday I finished reading Elizabeth Winter's "Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953" and I am so happy to be moving on.

I've never read very many poems by Plath, and I've never read the Bell Jar (which her 1953 summer was based on), so I guess I didn't have much of an interest in her when I started the book. There were also a few times where I felt like I was reading a book written by Sylvia's best friend and I had somehow insulted Sylvia and Winter was writing me to defend her.

I'm planning to hand this off to one of my friends who does adore Sylvia and see what they think.

I do have to say Winter's detailed account of Sylvia's summer in New York was incredible. Sylvia spent only a month as an intern at Mademoiselle, but the book is full of rich details of almost every day of her time there and you can truly picture what an interesting place the Barbizon would have been. 

And of course, I did like the cover when it arrived. I loved the tones on the photograph and it was very "pretty" but now that I've read the story I'm not sure it was the best option. Something a little more New York probably would have been more fitting.

The book is available from Harper Collins on April 16.

Have you read much Sylvia Plath? Do you think you'll read this?


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