Last May I mentioned on this blog that as literary agent I was developing a book project with an author client who would be writing an important new book on Sylvia Plath. I’m happy to announce that that proposed book is now under contract with a publisher, and the author and I very excited about the arrangement we’ve made. The book will be titled The Last Days of Sylvia Plath, and the author is prolific biographer Carl Rollyson. We’ve sold it to the University Press of Mississippi. In a concise narrative, Rollyson will chronicle the last four months of the poet’s life, drawing on hitherto unexamined sources, including the archive of Harriet Rosenstein, a controversial figure who in the 1970s undertook a biography of Plath that she never completed or published. Rollyson’s book will be an imperative study apt to re-shape the way readers view the end of the poet’s tragically abbreviated life. I posted an announcement of the deal earlier today at publishersmarket[dot]com (listing below). The manuscript will be delivered to the publisher in early 2019.
The Guardian’s Danuta Kean reports on a startling discovery of previously unknown poems by Sylvia Plath, found to have been typed on carbon paper in an old notebook that belonged to her. The timing of this may prove helpful for myself and an author client of my literary agency as I am currently submitting that writer’s nonfiction book proposal about Plath and Ted Hughes to publishers in the US and the UK. This comes on top of many other developments about Plath and Hughes revealed in the past few months that point to the baleful influence Hughes exerted on Plath in the last months of her life.
As an editor, I first became involved with the Plath-Hughes story when in 2007 I edited and published The Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath’s Rival, and Ted Hughes’s Doomed Lover, which Publishers Weekly reviewed as “Assiduously researched, compulsively readable…an important book.”
I will post more about the new book in the weeks to come. You can read the article via this link, and I’ve pasted in a screenshot of the Guardian story’s opening paragraphs below.