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Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963 Paperback – February 28, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Finally now, young women writers can cease to identify with the apparent self-destroyer in Sylvia Plath and begin to understand the forces she had to reckon with." -- --Adrienne Rich

"One is left willing to bestow on Sylvia Plath the compassion and charity she so relentlessly and fatally denied herself." -- --Saturday Review

About the Author

Sylvia Plath (1932-63) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright fellowship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Other posthumous publications include Ariel, her landmark publication, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams and The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: HarpPeren; Reprint edition (February 28, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060974915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060974916
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Plath is credited with being a pioneer of the 20th-century style of writing called confessional poetry. Her poem "Daddy" is one of the best-known examples of this genre.

In 1963, Plath's semi-autobiographic novel The Bell Jar was published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas"; it was reissued in 1966 under her own name. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gives an great insight into the mind of one the most incredible writers ever. All her thoughts and feelings are expressed so wonderfully. Even in her letters she keeps the same dry wit and rage that draws so many people to her. She was an incredible writer and this is just another example of her fine work.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By bubblyhayhay on May 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
Letter Home contains all of the letters that Sylvia wrote to her Mother, Warren and Mrs Prouty from 1950-1963 and span her university life, up to her marriage to Ted Hughes and beyond.

The best thing about this book is the enthusiasm for study, success and a family that Plath shows in the letters.

As a fan I often imagine her as a moody person like her poems sometimes suggests but Plath appears happy and full of life and love in each letter.

I particularly enjoyed the letters from the time she met Ted and started a family with him as their plans and gaining success were so well deserved and interesting.

Letters Home comes with an introduction by Plath's Mother who also adds a few bits of context throughout.

I stopped reading after the birth of her second child as the letters became quite sad and as a fan I knew what was going to happen and didn't want to ruin the way the book showed a very happy side of Plath.

I particularly liked the following passage that Plath wrote advising a boy suffering a breakdown similar to hers:

`When he dies, his marks will not be written on his gravestone. If he loved a book, been kind to someone, enjoyed a certain colour in the sea - that is the thing that show whether he has lived.'

I recommend this to all Plath fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Del Sesto on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading The Bell Jar I wanted to know everything I could possibly know about Sylvia Plath. I'd never read an author's journal or letters before, and I loved it! (It was one of my top ten reads of 2008.)

I love all the technology available to us today, but e-mail has certainly killed the magic of letters. This book has something like 1,000 letters from Sylvia, mostly to her mother. And yes, they are edited; and while at times you could certainly see Sylvia's mother making sure everybody knows she was a good mother, they are edited very well.

The letters read like narrative, taking you through a really interesting life story. Anyone interested in Plath should make this a must read. Between this and The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, I found Letters Home to be much faster paced and overall engrossing.

One day I may go back and read Letters Home and the journals simultaneously to see the differences in the letters vs. the journals during the same periods.

I highly recommend this book. Whether you are a fan of Plath's or just interested in the pre-techology life of a student, lover, wife, mother, you can't help but be captivated.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Suzinne Barrett VINE VOICE on May 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
is no where to be found here. I knew that Sylvia Plath's letters to her mother and brother were (over) edited so I was forewarned somewhat. But I read very favorable reviews here on amazon.com. so I decided to pick up Letters Home. Well, I'm here to say I was very disappointed. Yes, it's well written, and you do get a sense, however limited, of Sylvia's life and routine. But as to her inner conflicts and conflicts with other people and situations? Not at all. Nobody reads Plath for the warm and fuzzy, frankly. Her true fans want Is The Wrath of Plath! Not how wonderful her husband and baby or babies were. Or what a delicious meal she cooked or ate. Or favorable early impressions of her husband's mother and sister, who she later came to dislike strongly.

Too bad we couldn't get the "full monty" with this volume.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Conaway on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
From Aurelia Plath's intimate introduction and comments throughout to Sylvia's personal words and insights, I can't praise this book enough. Sylvia's growth as a writer and a woman are charted here. Her relationship with Mrs. Prouty is more intimately revealed as well. A must!
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