The Bell Jar (Heinemann, 1963)
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under —- maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational —- as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
The Bell Jar is the only novel written by Plath. It was originally published in January 1963 under a pseudonym “Victoria Lucas.” The Bell Jar is semi-autobiographical. Plath died a month after the novel was released in the UK, by suicide. The Bell Jar was finally published for the first time with Plath’s name in 1967. It was not published in the U.S. until 1971 under the wishes of Plath’s husband and her mother.