Sylvia’s Plath’s suicide in 1963 at the age of 31 made her an international bestseller, a cult figure, a martyr of the feminist movement, a posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner and the subject of at least 104 books. If she hasn’t yet reached the status of full-blown cultural icon, she probably will when the movie about her life starring Gwyneth Paltrow comes out. When her Abridged Journals came out in 1982, her former husband, the British poet laureate Ted Hughes, was criticized for self-servingly omitting/cutting out large portions. His admission that he had destroyed one journal at the time of her death and misplaced another only fueled the feminist argument of a faithless husband silencing his genius wife….
Shortly before his death two years ago, Ted Hughes unsealed the remaining journals and allowed the entire collection to be published. Sylvia Plath, uncensored: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, is this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Karen Kukil, Editor of the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath and Associate Curator of Rare Books at Smith College. Lynda Bundtzen, Herbert H. Lehman Professor of English at William College