Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fantastic Read: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Suggesting books to read is a tricky business. There's the danger of sounding like an aunt with a bad rinse and an old toffee stuck to the bottom of her purse.
The books I think are truly great, many, if not most of you, have probably already read. If you have - apologies for trying to introduce you to something you no doubt already have in your collection. To those of you who haven't - it's a pleasure to share some of there amazing talents with you.
Poet Sylvia Plath is one of America’s greats, synonymous with depression and suicide, but if you only ever read one of her books, please make it The Bell Jar. It is the only novel she ever wrote and it’s brilliant.
For any writers wanting to be published, it's a must-read. Her opening chapter holds you hostage even after the first few pages. In the opening scenes her writing is fresh and contemporary - shame she never lived long enough to discover how truly powerful her talent really is. It was originally published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas", in 1963 and yet it could be Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City, only deeper and a hundred times darker. This novel is semi-autobiographical and only after her suicide, was it published under Sylvia's real name.

Her protagonist in the Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, lands a scholarship in New York City to work for a prominent magazine (Plath's real-life magazine scholarship was at Mademoiselle magazine). She is exhilarated by the rush of Manhattan, but eventually, struggles to cope with her experiences and becomes frightened and disorientated. She is turned down for a writing course taught by a famous author and decides instead to spend the summer writing a novel, but feels she hasn't enough life experience to write convincingly.

Can you tell that I like it yet? This is such a great read.

Here is what readers of the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath had to say about it on Amazon or check what Book Rags - A Free Literature Study Guide had to say.
See you very soon.


Blogger Mei Liu said...

"Ennui," a previously unpublished poem by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sylvia Plath, will appear November 1, 2006 in Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts (www.blackbird.vcu.edu). Journey, a published poet and recent winner of the Wabash Prize from Sycamore Review, is the author of a forthcoming scholarly article on "Ennui."

Mei Liu (Intern, Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts)

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE this book... it's on my top ten.. however i like her poems better

3:33 AM  

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