Anne Sexton: a biography

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Houghton Mifflin, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 488 pages
51 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  - Theodora - Goodreads

Deeply insightful and disturbing, yet one of Middlebrooks best. She is sympathetic yet refuses to gloss over the disturbing aspects of Sexton and her behavior, particularly regarding her sexual abuse of her daughter. Read full review

Review: Anne Sexton: A Biography

User Review  - Lisa Gallagher - Goodreads

Middlebrook is simply a first-rate biographer. She manages to piece together all the ragged threads of Anne Sexton's life and work: the possible sexual abuse as a child, the postpartum depression that ... Read full review

Contents

Beginnings
3
Romance and Marriage
17
Breaking Down
31
Copyright

17 other sections not shown

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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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