Books: Two Lives

LETTERS HOME

by SYLVIA PLATH

Edited with preface by AURELIA PLATH

512 pages. Harper & Row. $12.50.

When Aurelia Plath told her eight-year-old daughter Sylvia that her father was dead, the child said, "I am never going to speak to God again." When she came home from school that day she presented her mother with an oath to be signed: "I promise never to marry again."

Sylvia took all of life with terrifying seriousness; the words "never again" came only too quickly to her. She was capable of emotional fixity that makes the poems written just before her suicide in 1963 nearly unbearable: pictures of rage...

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