Never has so much been written about a book like The Bell Jar. Written by American poet Sylvia Plath, the book is a semi auto-biographical book, recounting her year as The Bell Jar.
Due to wishes of the authors mother and husband, it was published in 1963, having been finished in August of 1961.
“The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air.” –
Sylvia Plath Chapter 18
Extreme surroundings were around the book at its time of publication. The book recounts an internship at a magazine “Ladies Day”. It is not just a book about journalism, but about mental illness. Considering the time of the novel being written, and the little revision, Plath had written a compelling narrative.
“But when I took up my pen, my hand made big, jerky letters like those of a child, and the lines sloped down the page from left to right almost diagonally, as if they were loops of string lying on the paper, and someone had come along and blown them askew.”
– Sylvia Plath Chapter 11
Plath was an extremely good writer, even though this was her only novel. The Bell Jar , from the start, sucks you straight in but has tendency’s to jump from place to place without linking properly through the text. You will also need to use your brain to understand the narrative due to the subjects and slang used at the time of writing the book.
The book deals with mental illness, which makes it heavy reading. Compulsively though, it is a very good book, helping people understand mental illness. Read plaths biography on wiki here