“Pain, Parties, Work,” a Romanticized Fictional Take on a Literary Legend

“Pain, Parties, Work,” a Romanticized Fictional Take on a Literary Legend

Sylvia Plath is a literary legend who mastered not only the poetry game but left behind one of the most beloved autobiographical novels of all time, The Bell Jar. So it’s not too much of a shocker that she’s a hot topic in books that are still being published over 50 years past her untimely passing.

Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953, a fictional novel by Elizabeth Winder, examines Plath’s youth as she spends a hot and humid summer in New York City during her college years. The most interesting part of this summer? It basically sets the framework for what would become The Bell Jar.

Winder has clearly done her research, and if you’ve read The Bell Jar you’ll learn that quickly. This book romanticizes Plath’s month in Manhattan, focusing in on the thrills and excitement Plath must have experienced before her tragic end many years later. In short, though Sylvia Plath’s life story may be haunting, it is also beautiful, and Winder captures that often unseen spirit beautifully.

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