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Sylvia Plath's Fiction

A Critical Study

Luke Ferretter

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This is the first study devoted to Sylvia Plath's fiction. Plath wrote fiction throughout her life, in a wide variety of genres, including women's magazine romances, New Yorker stories, comedy, social criticism, autobiography, teenage fiction and science fiction. She wrote novels before and after The Bell Jar. Discussing all these novels and stories, and based on research in the three major archives of her work, this book is the complete study of Plath's fiction. The author analyses her influences as a fiction writer, the relationships between her poetry and fiction, the political views she expresses in her fiction, and devotes two chapters to the central concern of her novels and stories, the roles of women in contemporary society.

Contents

List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Short Stories
Novels
1. Literary Contexts
Virginia Woolf
The New Yorker
Women's Magazine Fiction
Women's Madness Narratives
Ted Hughes
2. Plath's Poetry and Fiction
Smith, 1954-55
Cambridge, 1956-57
Falcon Yard, 1957-58
Boston and Yaddo, 1958-59
The Bell Jar, 1961
Double Exposure, 1962-63
3. The Politics of Plath's Fiction
Political Development
Race Stories
Cold War Stories
Crazy About the Rosenbergs
'I Could Love a Russian Boy'
Strange Love
Growing Up in World War II
4. Gender and Society in The Bell Jar
Sex
Medicine
Psychiatry
Beauty
Marriage
'Femininity'
5. Gender and Society in Plath's Short Stories
Plath's Women's Magazine Fiction
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Feminine Identities
Violence and Patriarchy
Notes
Bibliography
Index.

About the Author

Luke Ferretter is Assistant Professor of Twentieth-Century British and American Literature at Baylor University. He is the author of two books on critical theory, and of several articles on twentieth century literature and theory, including essays on Sylvia Plath, D.H. Lawrence, Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Plath Profiles.

Reviews

Well writen [...] and ecletic in its critical methods.
- T. Hoagwood, Texas A&M University, Choice: Vol.48 No.08