Sylvia Plath began keeping a diary as a young child. By the time she was at Smith College, when this book begins, she had settled into a nearly daily routine with her journal, which was also a sourcebook for her writing. Plath once called her journal her “Sargasso,” her repository of imagination, “a litany of dreams, directives, and imperatives,” and in fact these pages contain the germs of most of her work. Plath’s ambitions as a writer were urgent and ultimately all-consuming, requiring of her a heat, a fantastic chaos, even a violence that burned straight through her. The intensity of this struggle is rendered in her journal with an unsparing clarity, revealing both the frequent desperation of her situation and the bravery with which she faced down her demons. Written in electrifying prose, The Journals of Sylvia Plath provide unique insight, and are essential reading for all those who have been moved and fascinated by Plath’s life and work.
About the Author
Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932, and was a writer from early in life, publishing poems in local newspapers from the age of eight. Despite the clinical depression that affected her deeply, Plath excelled at Smith College and subsequently attended Newnham College in Cambridge on a Fulbright fellowship grant. In England, Plath met and married fellow poet Ted Hughes. Their marriage was often an unhappy one, and Hughes left Plath after the birth of their second child. In the time following, Plath wrote many of her most famous poems, often drawing inspiration from the rocky relationships with the men in her life--in particular her marriage to Hughes and her relationship with her father, whose strict manner and death during her childhood had greatly impacted her. Plath's works include the poems "Daddy," "Lady Lazarus," and "Poppies in July," as well as the novel The Bell Jar, which reflects Plath's own experiences with severe depression. Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Collected Works nearly twenty years after her suicide in 1963.
Ted Hughes was born in 1930 in West Yorkshire, England. He is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently, Wolfwatching. Mr. Hughes was appointed poet laureate of England in 1984. He lives in North Tawton, Devon.
McCullough is a well-known book editor, food writer, and faculty member of the annual food writing course for professionals taught at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.