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Emma Tennant

This is a fictional re-creation of the marriage and separation of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. From the start, poetry was the couple's tryst-placing and battleground. Sylvia read Ted's verse before she met him, confronting the handsome poet with his own words at their first encounter one cold Cambridge night. In intensely vivid prose, Emma Tennant takes us beyond the familiar outlines of the pair's legend, imbuing their story with the heightened symbolism of an epic drama. From the scarlet lipstick and headband Sylvia wore on the night they first met, to the yards of red corduroy curtains left unfinished at her death, Tennant constructs a ballad from the unforgettable images that tap into our very nerve endings. As Sylvia and Ted struggle to create both life and art, their duet becomes a duel - creating a powerful vortex of sensation and passion that draws everyone into its path, including Sylvia's darkly beautiful rival, Assia Wevill. Through imaginative fiction, The Ballad of Sylvia and Ted evokes the social and literary circles in which Plath and Hughes travelled, even as it animates the three talented yet tortured people whose tragic tale surely deserves its place as one of the twentieth century's most famous literary love stories.


176 Pages

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  • Store location: Palmerston, Otago, NZ

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