The Bell Jar
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The Bell Jar

4.03 (731,533 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 135 x 204 x 18mm | 218g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0060837020
  • 9780060837020
  • 8,564

Back cover copy

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, 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 insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
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Review quote

"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
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Rating details

731,533 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 37% (273,252)
4 37% (270,374)
3 19% (139,998)
2 5% (35,504)
1 2% (12,405)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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