The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath

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A student from Boston wins a guest editorship on a national magazine, and finds a new world at her feet. Her New York life is crowded with possibilities, so the choice of future is overwhelming. She is faced with the perennial problems of morality, behaviour and identity. Review

Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel. The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman’s mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman’s descent into insanity.

From the Cover

The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath’s only novel. Renowned for its intensity and oustandingly vivid prose, it broke existing boundaries between fiction and reality and helped to make Plath an enduring feminist icon. It was published under a pseudonym a few weeks before the author’s suicide.

Further Reading

You can read more about Sylvia Plath on the Sylvia Plath Homepage. There is also an interesting interview with Ted Hughes.


Audio Clip


The Bell Jar


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