Reviews

  • A first-class biography... Red Comet is a mighty achievement. Clark is compassionate, clear-eyed, sceptical. Each chapter reads with the ease of a novel... I couldn't put it down.

    Laura Freeman, The Times
  • Rescuing Sylvia Plath from the cult of her fans...[Red Comet,] a terrific, even-handed biography of Plath frees the poet from the narrow view of her as 'a mind on course for suicide'... Heather Clark's meticulous research, sweeping up every scrap, deftly integrates drafts, unpublished pieces, stories and critiques of poems...to make this extraordinary story more moving than ever.

    Lyndall Gordon, Daily Telegraph
  • At last, there is Red Comet, a major biography that recognises Sylvia Plath...and recovers her from cliché. It is a superbly researched, fluent and assured book...and Heather Clark writes with a rare empathy and understanding of her subject... Not one sentence seems extraneous... Red Comet reveals Plath as she ought to be seen.

    Ann Kennedy Smith, Times Literary Supplement
  • Clark's defining project, both a joyful affirmation for Plath fanatics and a legitimization of her legacy... Clark masterfully analyses the poetry with intelligent incorporation of the biography... In this mammoth biography of a short, troubled life, the deepest impression is of [Plath's] resilience and dogged energy.

    Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times
  • Finally, the biography that Sylvia Plath deserves, one that takes her seriously as both a poet and a person. Combining rigorous research with in-depth literary analysis and immersive style, Heather Clark's magisterial book not only traces Plath's influences and inspirations, but also chronicles her often-tumultuous relationships with respect and empathy. A spectacular achievement.

    Ruth Franklin, author of Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
  • [Sylvia Plath] as she really was, with and without Ted Hughes.

    Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times
  • An exciting contribution not only to Plath studies but to biography, poetics, cultural history, and feminist history and theory, Red Comet is an extraordinary book. Clark animates Plath anew, both through the very dailiness of her life - rendered gripping and engrossing - and through the brilliant situating of Plath (and her stormy marriage to Ted Hughes) in the larger, indelibly evoked Anglo-American poetic context. Clark delivers a brilliant scholarly exegesis in vivid prose that renders Plath's life into art. This is the major biography of this major poet that we have long awaited.

    Mary V. Dearborn, author of Ernest Hemingway: A Biography
  • With Red Comet Heather Clark has produced a superb biography, scholarly, acutely perceptive and beautifully written. She shows a profound understanding not only of Plath and her work, but also of the worlds she inhabited on both sides of the Atlantic. This is without doubt one of the most remarkable biographies of the present era.

    Selina Hastings, author of The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham
  • Red Comet contains a vital ingredient that wasn't available to previous Plath biographers: access to her surviving letters... Nor does she reduce this complex tragic story to a simple tale of good versus evil.

    JP O'Malley, Irish Independent
  • [A] marvellous biography of Sylvia Plath.

    James Marriott, The Times *Literary Nonfiction Books of the Year*

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