Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath
The highly anticipated biography of Sylvia Plath focuses on her remarkable literary and intellectual achievements while restoring the woman behind the long-held myths about her life and art.
With a wealth of never-before-accessed materials, Heather Clark brings to life the brilliant Sylvia Plath, who had precocious poetic ambition and was an accomplished published writer even before she became a star at Smith College. Refusing to read Plath’s work as if her every act was a harbinger of her tragic fate, Clark considers the sociopolitical context as she thoroughly explores Plath’s world: her early relationships and determination not to become a conventional woman and wife; her troubles with an unenlightened mental health industry; her Cambridge years and thunderclap meeting with Ted Hughes; and much more.
Clark’s clear-eyed portraits of Hughes, his lover Assia Wevill, and other demonized players in the arena of Plath’s suicide promote a deeper understanding of her final days. Along with illuminating readings of the poems themselves, Clark’s meticulous, compassionate research brings us closer than ever to the spirited woman and visionary artist who blazed a trail that still lights the way for women poets the world over.
Comet is absolutely necessary… In Clark’s attentive hands, Plath’s life is laid out in its full complexity.” — Lit Hub
“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