Since her suicide over four decades ago, fascination with the poet Sylvia Plath has never waned. Plath has recently been the subject of a novel ("Wintering", by Kate Moses), a feature film ("Sylvia", starring Gwyneth Paltrow), and a film documentary scheduled to air on the A&E network. But because the posthumous record was incomplete - and altered by her husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes - Sylvia Plath has been only partially understood until now. The publication of Plath's "Unabridged Journals" and Hughes's "Birthday Letters" and the opening of the Hughes archive have provoked new readings of Plath, and shed new light on her life and art. "The Unraveling Archive" is the first book in fifteen years to provide a new assessment of Plath's life and work, offering essays by leading critics and scholars that respond to these recent discoveries and publications. The book includes family photographs rarely seen before, and two original paintings by Plath from the 1950s, along with contributions by Janet Badia, Tracy Brain, Marsha Bryant, Lynda K. Bundtzen, Kathleen Connors, Sandra Gilbert, Anita Helle, Ann Keniston, Diane Wood Middlebrook, Kate Moses, and Robin Peel.
Anita Helle is Associate Professor of English at Oregon State University.