Anne Sexton: a biography

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Houghton Mifflin, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 488 pages
28 Reviews
Anne Sexton began writing poetry at the age of twenty-nine to keep from killing herself. She held on to language for dear life and somehow -- in spite of alcoholism and the mental illness that ultimately led her to suicide -- managed to create a body of work that won a Pulitzer Prize and that still sings to thousands of readers. This exemplary biography, which was nominated for the National Book Award, provoked controversy for its revelations of infidelity and incest and its use of tapes from Sexton's psychiatric sessions. It reconciles the many Anne Sextons: the 1950s housewife; the abused child who became an abusive mother; the seductress; the suicide who carried "kill-me pills" in her handbag the way other women carry lipstick; and the poet who transmuted confession into lasting art.

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Review: Anne Sexton: A Biography

User Review  - Kyley - Goodreads

This was a very thoughtful biography. Perhaps in part because Anne Sexton was such a dynamic figure, Middlebrook's book is immediately engaging and rarely dry throughout all 400 pages. Middlebrook ... Read full review

Review: Anne Sexton: A Biography

User Review  - Laura - Goodreads

This book is so well written that it probably deserves five stars, but I'm frustrated with its self-indulgent subject even while I sympathize with the depths of her illness. Read full review

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Contents

Beginnings
3
Romance and Marriage
17
Breaking Down
31
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Dianne Wood Middlebrook is the author of several volumes of poetry and critism as well as the prizewinning bestseller Anne Sexton: A biography. The recipient of many fellowships and awards, she is a professor of English at Stanford University, where she has also served as the director of the center for research on women. She currently lives in San Francisco.

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