Old Favorites: Sylvia Plath

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2018, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

I’ve been a Sylvia Plath fan since I was a teenager. The first poem of hers that I ever read was “Daddy,” and it was so powerful, so unsettling, so very different from anything else that I had ever read, that it always stayed with me. Later, I read her novel The Bell Jar and her other poems, and they all had a similar effect on me.

Sadly, this month marks the 55th anniversary of Plath’s suicide, but there are numerous ways to remember Plath, including revisiting her work.

You can read (or reread) Plath’s only novel, the autobiographical The Bell Jar:

The Bell Jar

Or, if you prefer, listen to it on audiobook:

The Bell Jar audiobook

Another option is perusing a collection of her poetry:


You can also watch the 2003 biographical movie about her, starring Gwyneth Paltrow:


Or if you prefer a more scholarly approach to her life, you can read one or both of the biographies about her that we have in the system.

Andrew Wilson’s Mad Girl’s Love Song is more concerned with Sylvia Plath’s life before she met her future husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes, while Carl Rollyson’s American Isis is a more comprehensive look at her life.

Do you like Plath? What’s your favorite of Plath’s work? What are some of your old favorites? Tell us in the comments!

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

7 thoughts on “Old Favorites: Sylvia Plath”

  1. Lovely post as usual. I love how you continue to bring older classics and terrific literature to the forefront. Would I be stoned to death if I admitted that I cannot stand Sylvia Plath? Sorry. Perhaps it was enforced reading of her when I was in 10th Grade but I loathe the woman’s prose. But I do love your blog and I love the posts that you make so please forgive me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I always appreciate your insightful comments! 🙂

      You shall not be stoned to death for disliking Plath! There’s a fair number of classic writers who I also loathe. Other than Oliver Twist, I can’t stand Charles Dickens, and Norman Mailer infuriates me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He was such a jerk! It always surprises me how much his knife attack on one of his wives seems to be ignored or skimmed over.

        On top of that, at the risk of sounding really petty, I have never forgiven him for The Executioner’s Song. Read it one year around my birthday. I love true crime–Capote’s In Cold Blood is my favorite book– but I felt like it was just a really meandering, boring, pointless book. It was like he ruined my birthday that year!


  2. Lol! Thank you for saying that. We had to read The Executioner’s Song in honors English in my senior year and I was so thoroughly disgusted with his writing that I silently protested by reading Harlequin romance novels during the break. I even got called out on it by my substitute English teacher one time and I told her that it wasn’t my fault that she made us read crappy books by misogynistic and hateful authors. And I even use the word misogynistic. So I think I may have impressed her but yes I’m with you on that one.

    Liked by 1 person

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