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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
I've read a lot of Sylvia Plath biographies and her time in New York is often given less attention so writer can skip to the part with Ted Hughes. Lots of interesting social context about the period and interviews with other guest editors, it seems a lot of original research was done rather than just taking through old stuff. An interesting and enjoyable read.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Likely to Influence the Plath Legend in Any Way
"Pain, Parties, Work." by the American poet Elizabeth Winder is a look at a young Sylvia Plath, whom many consider to have been the greatest American female poet of the 20th century. Plath is legendary for her collections of poetry, her novel The Bell Jar, her courtship and marriage to British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, and her suicide, at age 30. With dirty hair, pasty...
Published 15 months ago by Stephanie De Pue


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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Likely to Influence the Plath Legend in Any Way, 13 April 2013
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Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 (Hardcover)
"Pain, Parties, Work." by the American poet Elizabeth Winder is a look at a young Sylvia Plath, whom many consider to have been the greatest American female poet of the 20th century. Plath is legendary for her collections of poetry, her novel The Bell Jar, her courtship and marriage to British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, and her suicide, at age 30. With dirty hair, pasty white skin from the unusually severe British winter of 1963, as Winder says, "London's coldest since the days of King James when the Thames froze over." And, as is well-known, Plath did it by means of her oven, with her children in the house. But the book at hand gives us a look at a 21 year old Sylvia Plath. On May 31, 1953, as she settled into New York City to be one of 20 guest editors of the prestigious annual College Issue of what was then - but is now defunct--"the intellectual fashion magazine," for young women, MADEMOISELLE.

The author says," Sylvia Plath was fully immersed in the material culture of her time. She took pleasure in clothes, makeup, magazines, and food - a fact that runs counter to the crude reductions of Plath as a tortured artist. Sylvia was highly social - she volunteered, joined clubs, attended lectures, parties, and dances. At twenty, she was more likely to view herself within the context of her peer group than as an isolated individual. "

Mademoiselle had made it clear to its young guest editors in advance that, sweltering New York summer or not, it expected them always to wear gloves, acceptable earrings, smart hats, stockings, girdles, and no white shoes. Plath, and the 19 other guest editors, lived at what was then the famous Barbizon Hotel, an upper-crust slum for upper crust girls briefly in New York to work as models, actresses, etc. Over the next 26 days, the young poet to be attended Balanchine ballets, went to a Yankee baseball game, and danced at the West Side Tennis Club. She typed rejection letters to writers from the greatly admired New Yorker magazine, rudely grabbed and ate an entire bowl of caviar with a spoon at an advertising luncheon, stalked Dylan Thomas as he drank his way through New York's Greenwich Village. The pretty blond Smith College girl--New England's Smith College being a highly respected girls' school, then, known as one of the seven sisters, a Massachusetts school not far from Plath's Massachusetts family home -- had expected to have the time of her life. But what would follow was, in Plath's words, twenty-six days of `pain, parties, and work.'

Winder is the author of one poetry collection; her work has appeared in numerous reviews. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and earned an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. She lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

This debut publication features line drawings and black and white photographs. There can be no doubt that Winder has done a remarkable job of research here, including in-depth interviews with Plath's surviving fellow guest editors. She gives us New York's Manhattan Island of 60 years ago, certainly the `city that doesn't sleep,' even back then, too, and theorizes that the atmosphere of the city may have awakened sleeping anxieties in the young student. PAIN is not likely to influence the Plath legend in any way; it will neither puncture it nor enhance it. However, if your budget and your interests run to it, it casts an interesting light on the famous/infamous artist as a young woman.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, 6 Jun 2013
This review is from: Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 (Hardcover)
I've read a lot of Sylvia Plath biographies and her time in New York is often given less attention so writer can skip to the part with Ted Hughes. Lots of interesting social context about the period and interviews with other guest editors, it seems a lot of original research was done rather than just taking through old stuff. An interesting and enjoyable read.
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Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953
Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder (Hardcover - 16 April 2013)
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