The Most Interesting Writing About Sylvia Plath on the 50th Anniversary of Her Death

Fifty years ago today, Sylvia Plath killed herself, at the painfully young age of 30, and just a few weeks after the publication of her first and only novel, The Bell Jar. Needless to say, we’ve spent much of the day reading about the famed poet, whose literary legacy and personal mythology is as strong as ever, and discovering things we didn’t know. Just in case you don’t have the time to pour over tons of articles today, we thought we’d point you towards some of the most interesting pieces on the poet. Check them out after the jump, and if we’ve missed a gem of an article, link us to it in the comments! After all, you can’t have too much Sylvia.


There Are Almost No Obituaries for Sylvia Plath” by Ashley Fetters at The Atlantic

As part of an interview with Peter K. Steinberg, author of the 2004 biography Sylvia Plath:

I’ve been digging around for some obituaries or press coverage of Sylvia Plath’s suicide 50 years ago, and I’ve been very surprised at how little I’ve—well, at the fact that I’ve been able to find none. It sounds like something similar happened to you.

Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I think part of it is that it was a suicide. There’s a scene in The Bell Jar where Esther Greenwood says that the only newspaper they read in their house was the Christian Science Monitor, which treats suicides and murders as though they never happened. So part of my thinking is that possibly, [her mother] Aurelia Plath didn’t want the actual details of Sylvia’s death to be known. I certainly think Ted Hughes didn’t either.”