RED COMET: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath
RED COMET: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath

Our Price: $40.00


Heather Clark

Hardcover / Kopf 2020 /1152 pages / ISBN

*Named a Fall Book to Read by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Literary Hub, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Minneapolis Star Tribune, USA Today, AARP, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly*

“Mesmerizing . . . Comprehensive . . . Stuffed with heretofore untold anecdotes that illuminate or extend our understanding of Plath’s life . . . Clark is a felicitous writer and a discerning critic of Plath’s poetry . . . There is no denying the book’s intellectual power and, just as important, its sheer readability.” —Daphne Merkin, The New York Times

“A joyful affirmation for Plath fanatics and a legitimization of her legacy . . . It isn’t just modern hindsight that renders Red Comet uniquely complete: it’s old sources newly procured . . . Only in a biography this comprehensive can you get a sense of her intense trajectory and the transcendent achievement that is her poetry . . . Clark masterfully analyzes the poetry with intelligent incorporation of the biography.” —Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times

“Aiming to shake the public perception of Sylvia Plath as ‘the Marilyn Monroe of the literati,’ Clark delivers a meticulous, unflinching and fresh view of the brilliant, troubled poet.” People

“An impressive achievement representing a prizeworthy contribution to literary scholarship and biographical journalism.” —Paul Alexander, The Washington Post

“A clearer and more comprehensive account of Plath’s life than any that have appeared before, particularly strong in analyzing the complexities of her evolving relationship with Hughes . . . An intensely human portrait . . . Red Comet feels bracingly free of old grievances and shopworn vindications. It’s the big, generous biography Plath has always deserved.” —Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor

“[Red Comet] does not so much seek to correct the record as establish it in the first place . . . In the past, Plath has often been read and written about as anomalous, a mad poet fallen from a cold star to land briefly among the living. Red Comet insists on her as a woman of her time . . . [It] is alive with Plath’s countless dates, love affairs, and general escapades.” —Emily Van Duyne, Literary Hub

“Revelatory . . . Plath’s struggles with depression and her marriage to Ted Hughes emerge in complex detail, but Clark does not let Plath’s suicide define her artistic achievement, arguing with refreshing rigor for her significance to modern letters. The result is a new understanding and appreciation of an innovative, uncompromising poetic voice.” —The New Yorker