A Lover of Unreason: The Life and Tragic Death of Assia Wevill

Front Cover
Robson, 2006 - Mistresses - 280 pages
74 Reviews
'Assia was my true wife, and the best friend I ever had' wrote a heartbroken Ted Hughes, after Assia Wevill had surrendered her life and that of their four-year-old daughter to the fumes from the gas oven in her London flat, in March 1969--just six years after Sylvia Plath had suffered a similar fate. Diva, she-devil, enchantress, muse: the exquisitely beautiful Assia Wevill inspired or provoked many epithets in the course of three marriages and in pursuit of a destiny that took her from pre-war Berlin to Palestine during the British mandate and then to London in the swinging 'sixties. In the end, none would prove to be more fitting than the epithet--and epitaph--she chose for herself: 'Here lies a lover of unreason and and exile'. The story of the ultimately tragic failure in the marriage between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes--twentieth-century poetry's most celebrated couple--has always been related from one of two conflicting points of view: hers or his. Missing for more than four decades has been a third, equally relevant and no less fascinating perspective: that of Ted Hughes's mistress, Assia Wevill. A lover of unreason, the first biography of Assia Wevill, views afresh the Plath-Hughes marriage with a keen, revisionary eye, and at the same time, recounts the journey that shaped her life. Hers is a complex story, formed as it is by the pull of often contrary forces: fatal attraction and obsessive love, fidelity and adultery, cruelty and tenderness, dependence and rebellion, envy and self-sacrifice. Koren and Negev researched Assia Wevill's life for over fifteen years, unearthing a mass of personal documents, including her diaries and letters, and interviewed all the key witnesses, most of them speaking here for the first time. Their book is authoritative and compelling.--Book jacket.

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Review: Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes' Doomed Love

User Review  - Carina - Goodreads

The book was fine. I still dislike her, though. Read full review

Review: Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes' Doomed Love

User Review  - Anna Maria Ballester Bohn - Goodreads

One of the best biographies I have ever read. I found it especially refreshing that the authors don't hide (why should they?) their profound sympathy and compassion for Assia, and yet never sugarcoat ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

Yehuda Koren is journalists for the major Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth and contribute to major British periodicals. In addition to their interviews with Perla Ovitz, her nephew, and her cousin, they tracked down significant medical documentation and archival lists and unearthed original records from Auschwitz.

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