Your Own, Sylvia draws on Plath's writing and extensive nonfiction sources, chronicling Hemphill's interpretation of Plath's life from infancy to her death by suicide at age 30. The poems are arranged chronologically and each conveys an experience in Plath's life, told via the voice and perspective of family members, friends, doctors, fellow writers, etc. - as interpreted by Hemphill.
Each poem is accompanied by an addendum that further explains the factual circumstances of that poem's subject. The book also includes an Author's Note, a section describing the source material for each poem, and suggestions for further reading.
"[R]eaders come away with a sense ofreally knowing Plath....a must for any young-adult reader of poetry or Plath." (
"[A]n intimate, comprehensive, imaginative view of a life, which also probes the relationships between poetry and creativity, mental fragility, love, marriage, and betrayal." ( Booklist)
"Hemphill's verse, like Plath's, is completely compelling: every word, every line, worth reading." ( The Horn Book Magazine)
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