Carl Rollyson, author of American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath

Event date: 
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 6:30pm

We happily welcome Carl Rollyson, author of the new biography American Isis: the Life and Art of Sylvia Plath, published by St. Martin's Press, to our bookstore for a reading and book signing.

Sylvia Plath is one of the most iconic figures in 20th Century American literature: Plath’s legacy in the poetry world is profound; The Bell Jar, Plath’s renowned semi autobiographical novel, has been translated into nearly a dozen languages and studied in English classrooms for decades. Now, with the fiftieth anniversary of her death, Carl Rollyson delivers an in-depth and unprecedented portrait of this important icon: AMERICAN ISIS: THE LIFE AND ART OF SYLVIA PLATH.

While her literary accomplishments endure, Plath’s legacy is also defined by an enigmatic and often misunderstood personal life. Her tragic death at the age of thirty, and a tumultuous relationship with fellow poet Ted Hughes continues to captivate historians and spark countless interpretations. Distinguishing himself from other Plath biographers, Rollyson is the first to draw from the recently-opened Ted Hughes archive, incorporate new interviews with Plath’s former Smith classmates and students, and intertwine dozens of previously unpublished letters, photographs, and papers. AMERICAN ISIS tells Plath’s story as we’ve never heard it before, with gripping new material.

CARL ROLLYSON is professor of journalism at Baruch College, The City University of New York and the author of twelve biographies including Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress and, with his wife, Lisa Paddock, Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon. He reviews biographies regularly for The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, The New Criterion, and other papers. He lives in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. For more, visit

Author photo by Celene McDermott

Event address: 
315 W. Gorham St.
53703-2218 Madison
American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780312640248
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 29th, 2013