One of the greatest mad, sad literary love affairs of the twentieth century was that between poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. In After Ted & Sylvia, Hurdle adapts her own reserch on their lives to explore the love and loss in this relationship of poetic collaboration and rivalry, which lasts, in Hurdle's recreation, even after Plath's suicide in 1963 and Hughes' death in 1998. At points, the poet-narrator forms a literaty ménage à trois with the two poets as she struggles to understand their own lives as individual artists and their love-torn relationship. The final section begins in Purgatory with the furious Plath having read Hughes' Birthday Letters even as other voices from the wider public domain attempt to control the narrative. For the reader, this collection provides the great joy of finding familiar images from both Plath and Hughes, images that now echo with new resonance.
"Crystal Hurdle has spent years passionately searching for Sylvia Plath and rescuing her from the suppression and distrortion of her life and works by others. Hurdle approaches Plath through many perspectives, several voices, and an array of moods. The result is a credible and deeply moving presentation of 'the heart's shivered core.' This is a book to treasure and reread many times." ~Bill Schermbrucker
"In this book of linked poems, Crystal Hurdle channels the many voices that comprise the hardest, brightest stars in the constellation of Sylvia Plath's life. This is an accomplished first book that combines scholarly and poetic responses to Plath's life and work." ~Sharon Thesen
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