Sylvia Plath Rediscovered

Since her suicide half a century ago, Sylvia Plath has been the subject of many biographies, a Hollywood movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and even a song by alt-country rocker Ryan Adams. But Carl Rollyson’s new book, American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath, takes a different approach to uncovering and understanding the life of the proto-feminist author and poet.

Rollyson, a Baruch College journalism professor and author of twelve biographies, frames his retelling of Plath’s life story with the opening sentence “Sylvia Plath is the Marilyn Monroe of modern literature,” and goes on to compare the poet to both the iconic actress and the ancient Egyptian mother goddess, Isis. Rollyson uses these analogies, as well as the recently opened archives of Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes, to trace her life and personal relationships, from her time as a young writer at Smith college through her troubled marriage and struggles with depression.

Rollyson will be in town to sign and discuss his take on the life of this influential writer tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover, 2526 East Colfax Avenue. The event is free. For more information, visit
Wed., March 27, 7:30 p.m., 2013


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