Red Comet : A New York Times Top 10 Book of 2021

The first biography of this great and tragic poet that takes advantage of a wealth of new material, this is an unusually balanced, comprehensive and definitive life of Sylvia Plath. ‘Surely the final, the definitive, biography of Sylvia Plath’ Ali Smith *WINNER OF THE SLIGHTLY FOXED PRIZE 2021* *A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH AND THE TIMES* *FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE IN BIOGRAPHY 2021*Drawing on a wealth of new material, Heather Clark brings to life the great and tragic poet, Sylvia Plath. Refusing to read Plath’s work as if her every act was a harbinger of her fate, Clark evokes a culture in transition in the mid-twentieth century as she thoroughly explores Sylvia’s world. We see Plath’s early relationships and determination not to become a conventional woman and wife; we witness her Cambridge years and thunderclap meeting with Ted Hughes; and, through clear-eyed portraits of the demonised players in the arena of her suicide, we gain a deeper understanding of her final days. Featuring illuminating readings of Plath’s poems, Red Comet brings us closer than ever to the spirited woman and visionary artist who blazed a trail that still lights the way for women the world over. ‘A first-class biography . . . Each chapter reads with the ease of a novel . . . I couldn’t put it down’ The Times