The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath ; Biographical Note by Lois Ames ; Drawings by Sylvia Plath
New York : Harper & Row, 1971. Second printing with numbers line starting with "2". Hardcover. 296 pages ; illustrated ; 22 cm. $6.95 dust jacket with light foxing around the dust jacket edges. Lean to spine. Foxing to side pages edge. Pages are unmarked. Binding is firm.
At last Sylvia Plath's only published novel is available in her own country, eight years after it was published in England under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas.
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. In this case, the work reveals so much about the sources of Sylvia Plath's own tragedy that its publication must be considered a landmark in contemporary literature.
LOIS AMES, Sylvia Plath's biographer, has written a biographical note giving the background and history of the novel. The pen-and-ink drawings in the book were done by Sylvia Plath.
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