Heather Clark will deliver “P(l)athology: Sylvia Plath and Her Biographers” as  the Women Writing Women’s Lives Dorothy O. Helly Works in Progress  Lecutre on March 19 at the CUNY Graduate Center, Room 9204/9205.

Clark will give a brief overview of the role Plath biographies have played in pathologizing their subject, and argue that their illness-centered narratives have diminished Plath’s intellectual and creative legacy. She will also discuss the challenges she has faced writing about this iconic poet and novelist, and the wealth of new material she has drawn upon.

Heather Clark is the author of two award-winning books on twentieth-century poetry: The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 and The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, both published by Oxford University Press. She received a 2017-18 NEH Public Scholar Fellowship for her work on Plath, and has been a Biography Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography, CUNY. Her biography of Sylvia Plath will be published by Knopf in 2019.


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