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October Literary Birthdays

American poet, Oct. 27, 1932 - Feb. 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was born and grew up in Massachusetts. She sold her first poem while in high school, graduated from Smith College in 1955, married Ted Hughes (who later was Britain's poet laureate for many years), and moved to England, where she published The Colossus, her first book of poetry. The Bell Jar, an autobiographical novel, was written soon after this and published under a pseudonym. Plath suffered from depression and a seeming need for perfection for most, if not all, of her life. While in college, she was hospitalised and given shock treatments; The Bell Jar parallels this period in her life. After she and Hughes moved to England, she began to write more furiously than before (and she had always been prolific) and with greater power and less restraint. She ended her life by gassing herself in her oven.

Some of her works:
The Colossus (1960)
The Bell Jar (1963)

published after her death
Ariel (1965)
Crossing the Water (1971)
Winter Trees (1971)

Search for her books

Other Literary Birthdays

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French novelist Henri Alain-Fournier (1886)
North Carolinian novelist Thomas Wolfe (1900)
NY native writer and playwright Gore Vidal (1925)
Born in New Orleans, author of vampire novels Anne Rice (1941)
Czech playwright and political leader Vaclav Havel (1936)
Norwegian explorer and adventure writer, author of Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl (1914)
Australian novelist (author of Schindler's List) Thomas M. Keneally (1935)
sci-fi writer Frank Herbert (1920)
English playwright Harold Pinter (1930)
American crime writer Elmore Leonard (1925)
New Zealand short story writer Katherine Mansfield (1888)
Massachusetts-born poet, playwright, and painter E.E. Cummings (1894)
Comedic British novelist P.G. Wodehouse (1881)
Italian novelist (born Cuba) Italo Calvino (1923)
Irish wit and author Oscar Wilde (1854)
U.S. playwright Eugene O'Neill (1888)
American novelist Nathanael West (1903)
American playwright Arthur Miller (1915)
English spy novelist John Le Carré (1931)
French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854)
California-born sci-fi and fantasy writer Ursula Le Guin (1929)
Russian poet, novelist and 1933 Nobel prize winner Ivan Bunin (1870)
U.K. novelist (born Iran) Doris Lessing (1919)
Chicago-born novelist Michael Crichton (1942)
Illinois native, novelist, New Yorker writer Harold Brodkey (1930)
British novelist Evelyn Waugh (1903)
Idaho-born poet and critic Ezra Pound (1885)
British Romantic poet John Keats (1795)
Jockey and novelist Dick Francis (1920)