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The Bell Jar (original 1963; edition 2005)
by Sylvia Plath
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061148512, Paperback)Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel. The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman's mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman's descent into insanity.
(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:34:33 -0500)
This novel--echoing Plath's own experiences as a rising writer/editor in the early 1950s--chronicles the nervous breakdown of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful, but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time.
(summary from another edition)