The Bell Jar (Paperback)
A realistic and emotional novel about a woman battling mental illness and societal pressures written by the iconic American writer Sylvia Plath.
“It is this perfectly wrought prose and the freshness of Plath’s voice in The Bell Jar that make this book enduring in its appeal.” — USA Today
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: young, brilliant, beautiful, and enormously talented, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s neurosis becomes completely understandable and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such thorough exploration of the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche - and the profound collective loneliness that modern society has yet to find a solution for - is an extraordinary accomplishment, and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.
This P.S. edition features extra insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
About the Author
Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.
“It is this perfectly wrought prose and the freshness of Plath’s voice in The Bell Jar that make this book enduring in its appeal and make it as meaningful . . . as it was 25 years ago.”
— USA Today
“Esther Greenwood’s account of her years in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing. . . . [This] is not a potboiler, nor a series of ungrateful caricatures: it is literature.”
— New York Times
“The first-person narrative fixes us there, in the doctor’s office, in the asylum, in the madness, with no reassuring vacations when we can keep company with the sane and listen to their lectures.”
— Washington Post Book World
“The narrator simply describes herself as feeling very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel. The in-between moment is just what Miss Plath’s poetry does catch brilliantly—the moment poised on the edge of chaos.”
— Christian Science Monitor
“As clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing.”
— New York Times