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The Silent Woman

Janet Malcolm
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This is a reasoned meditation on the art of biography, a work of criticism and literary detection and an examination of the means by which biographers justify their ends. The author takes as her example the various biographers of the poet Sylvia Plath and their conflicts with the Plath estate. This is not a book about the life of Sylvia Plath, but her afterlife: how her reputation was forged from the poems she wrote just before her suicide; how her estranged husband, the poet Ted Hughes, as executor of her estate, tried to serve two masters: her art and his own need for privacy; and how it fell to his sister, Olwyn Hughes, as literary agent for the estate, to protect him by limiting access to Plath's work; and how five biographers, variously thwarted in their attempts to give what they felt to be a true account of the life have turned much of the literary world against Ted and Olwyn Hughes.
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Edition Details
Author Janet Malcolm
Binding Type Hardback
Publisher Pan Macmillan
Year Published 1994-10-21
Number of Pages 224
ISBN 13 9780330335782
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