on the shelf: the silent woman



The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm
ISBN-13: 9780679751403

Synopsis: "From the moment it was first published in The New Yorker, this brilliant work of literary criticism aroused great attention. Janet Malcolm brings her shrewd intelligence to bear on the legend of Sylvia Plath and the wildly productive industry of Plath biographies. Features a new Afterword by Malcolm.

From the moment it was first published in The New Yorker, this brilliant work of literary criticism aroused great attention. Janet Malcolm brings her shrewd intelligence to bear on the legend of Sylvia Plath and the wildly productive industry of Plath biographies. Features a new Afterword by Malcolm. "Rich and theatrical."--The New York Times Book Review."

Review: This book surprised me. I was expecting something that just praised Plath and bashed Hughes. I was totally wrong. Malcolm did an excellent job exploring different people's memories of Plath. She is sympathetic towards Hughes and explores other biographers' inability to penetrate the inner world of Sylvia Plath. I was surprised at her sympathy towards Hughes, but I understand it. People blame him, thinking he had driven her towards suicide because of his affair. Plath had problems long before Hughes. Their relationship probably didn't help, but I wouldn't say it was the cause. I can't imagine how he probably felt after her death and under the scrutiny of the literary world. It probably was not a good place to be.

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