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  1. BOOK REVIEW: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who’s Been There by Cheryl Strayed Kate Forsyth 02-Mar-2018
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A fairy-tale infused historical novel for adults set in the late 18 th century, moving between Imperial China and France during the ‘Terror’ of the French Revolution, and inspired by the true story of a quest for a blood-red rose.

The novel will draw upon ‘The Blue Rose,’ a fairy tale set in China about a quest for an impossible rose.

Sylvia Plath biography review 2004

Forty-one years ago, before dawn on a freezing winter's day, Sylvia Plath put out bread and milk for her two small children, taped up the cracks of the kitchen door, put her head inside her oven and gassed herself to death.

There has since been an avalanche of books on Plath, most driven by the sort of voyeuristic intensity usually reserved for doomed movie stars. The new film starring Gwyneth Paltrow has only added fuel to the flames as a whole new generation becomes fascinated by the Plath mythology.

Since Plath's life, death and poetry are so tightly plaited together, it is inevitable that the last few days before Plath committed suicide should be scrutinized closely. Jillian Becker, the woman with whom Plath stayed that weekend, has written a memoir called Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath. It is a slim book, no more than 12,000 words in length, and contains little which has not been recorded before except for the author's own impressions and interpretations. It is impossible not to feel that Becker seeks to inflate her importance in Plath's life, or that her publishers are trying to cash in on the making of the film. Although I felt a little sorry for Becker, who obviously feels some people blame her for not seeing what Plath intended, I think forty-one years is enough time to get over it. This is one for Plathophiles only.