Great insight into the life of Anne Sexton, one of our time's greatest and most tragic poets.
Interesting insight into the poet's life.
This is the review I wrote for Amazon:
I give this book four stars because I honestly do not like Anne Sexton as a person - or as a poet really. I was very curious about her so I read Anne Sexton: A Biography and found that I didn't care for her as a person. I then read Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton and found that I really disliked her (it could be I'm biased because my own mother was mentally ill ...). So ... having said this, why did I feel the need to read her letters?? I LOVE reading women's letters. I suppose I was hoping I might like her after all after having read her correspondence to people she cared about. I was wrong.
I found it annoying that she stumbled upon poetry and suddenly she knows what it's like to be a poet. In her earlier letters, she is constantly apologizing for the incoherentness of her manic letters - and finally ends the letter a page and a half later. It's interesting that she felt harassed by so many people sending her poems and asking for her input and critiques/criticisms and yet throughout her life, she was constantly sending her poems to others asking for their feedback.
What I really appreciated about these letters is that there really is no need to have read a biography on Anne Sexton in order to enjoy them; it would definitely help, but the editors did such a thorough job in the editing process that they were kind enough to fill in gaps between letters, even going so far as to explain who Anne was responding to and why.
While I didn't enjoy these as much as other letters, they are unique and obviously they are appreciated by many people. I wouldn't go so far as to recommend this book to many people, but I wouldn't exactly try to keep anyone from reading it either.
An 'autobiography' told through personal letters. Illustrated with lots of photographs. Large, softcover format, 431 pages.