Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath

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This is the story of a woman forging a new life for herself after her marriage has foundered, shutting up her beloved Devonshire house and making a home for her two young children in London, elated at completing the collection of poems she foresees will make her name. It is also the story of a woman struggling to maintain her mental equilibrium, to absorb the pain of her husband's betrayal and to resist her mother's engulfing love. It is the story of Sylvia Plath.

In this deeply felt novel, Kate Moses recreates Sylvia Plath's last months, weaving in the background of her life before she met Ted Hughes through to the disintegration of their relationship and the burst of creativity this triggered. It is inspired by Plath's original ordering and selection of the poems in Ariel, which begins with the word 'love' and ends with 'spring,' a mythic narrative of defiant survival quite different from the chronological version edited by Hughes. At Wintering's heart, though, lie the two weeks in December when Plath finds herself still alone and grief-stricken, despite all her determined hope. With exceptional empathy and lyrical grace, Moses captures her poignant, untenable and courageous struggle to confront not only her future as a woman, an artist and a mother, but the unbanished demons of her past.

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About the author

Kate Moses was born in San Francisco in 1962 to a British father and an American mother, and grew up in various parts of the United States before returning to California to attend university. She subsequently worked as an editor in publishing and as literary director at San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts, and in 1997 became one of the two founding editors of Salon.com's Mothers Who Think website, which led to the American Book Award-winning anthology Mothers Who Think, co-edited with Camille Peri. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children. Wintering is her first novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Apr 22, 2014
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781466869134
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the author of the internationally acclaimed Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath comes a funny, touching memoir of a crummy—and crumby—childhood.

Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Kate Moses was surrounded by sugar: Twinkies in the basement freezer, honey on the fried chicken, Baby Ruth bars in her father’s sock drawer. But sweetness of the more intangible variety was harder to come by. Her parents were disastrously mismatched, far too preoccupied with their mutual misery to notice its effects on their kids.

A frustrated artist, Kate’s beautiful, capricious mother lived in a constant state of creative and marital emergency, enlisting Kate as her confidante—“We’re the girls, we have to stick together”—and instructing her three children to refer to her in public as their babysitter. Kate’s father was aloof, ambitious, and prone to blasts of withering abuse increasingly directed at the daughter who found herself standing between her embattled parents. Kate looked for comfort in the imaginary worlds of books and found refuge in the kitchen, where she taught herself to bake and entered the one realm where she was able to wield control.

Telling her own story with the same lyricism, compassion, and eye for lush detail she brings to her fiction, coupled with the candor and humor she is known for in her personal essays, Kate Moses leavens each tale of her coming-of-age in Cakewalk with a recipe from her lifetime of confectionary obsession. There is the mysteriously erotic German Chocolate Cake implicated in a birds-and-bees speech when Kate was seven, the gingerbread people her mother baked for Christmas the year Kate officially realized she was fat, the chocolate chip cookies Kate used to curry favor during a hilariously gruesome adolescence, and the brownies she baked for her idol, the legendary M.F.K. Fisher, who pronounced them “delicious.”

Filled with the abundance and joy that were so lacking in Kate’s youth, Cakewalk is a wise, loving tribute to life in all its sweetness as well as its bitterness and, ultimately, a recipe for forgiveness.


From the Hardcover edition.
From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a #1 New York Times bestselling novel about two unforgettable American women.

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

From the editors of the cutting-edge online magazine Salon come provocative essays that take an unflinching look at
the gritty truths and unreserved pleasures of contemporary motherhood.

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood, which grew out of Salon's popular daily department of the same name, comprises nearly forty essays by writers grappling with the new and compelling ideas that motherhood has dangled before them. Elevating the discussion of motherhood above the level of tantrum control and potty training, this collection covers an unparalleled range of topics, from the impossibility of loving your children equally to raising a son without a father, from worrying that your privileged black child is becoming too "white" to the free-floating anger most mothers feel but wouldn't dare admit--except to other mothers. The intelligent, candid essays in Mothers Who Think are a testament to the notion that motherhood gives women more to think about, not less.
        
Coeditors Camille Peri and Kate Moses have assembled the best writing from the website's first two years, including works by "Mothers Who Think" regulars Anne Lamott, Chitra Divakaruni, Susie Bright, and Stephanie Coontz; eloquent new essays by Jayne Anne Phillips, Sallie Tisdale, Susan Straight, Jane Lazarre, Nora Okja Keller, Beth Kephart, Ariel Gore, and Alex Witchel; and more than a dozen un-forgettable new voices.
        
Irreverent, wistful, hilarious, fierce, tender, these essays offer an unsparing look at the myths and realities, serious and silly sides, and thankless and supremely satisfying aspects of being a mother.

WRITERS

Erin Aubry, Karen Grigsby Bates, Susie Bright, Stephanie Coontz, Chitra Divakaruni, Celeste Fremon, Mona Gable, Leslie Goodman-Malamuth, Ariel Gore, Arlene Green, Nora Okja Keller, Beth Kephart, Anne Lamott, Jane Lazarre, Lori Leibovich, Ceil Malek, Joyce Millman, Kate Moses, Beth Myler, Debra S. Ollivier, Camille Peri, Jayne Anne Phillips, Elizabeth Rapoport, Jennifer Reese, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Cynthia Romanov, Catherine A. Salton, Sandi Kahn Shelton, Rose Stoll, Susan Straight, Sallie Tisdale,
Kim Van Meter, Cathy Wilkinson,  Alex Witchel

ON MOTHERHOOD

Adoption, Babysitters, Baths, Birth, Blenders, Bodies, Boys Without Men, Brothers, Car Pools, Cold Coffee, College, Cupcakes, Custody, Daughters, Death, Diapers, Divorce, Dramas, Dreams, Escape, Expectations, Experience, Fantasies, Fathers, Food, Grandmothers, Growing Up, Gumbo, Home, Hunger, Kiddie Pools, Language, Lists, Love, Memories, Mothers, Nursing, Pets, Pregnancy, Pride, Princesses, Rage, School, Separation, Sex, Single Mothers, Sippy Cups, Sisters, Sleep Deprivation, Smells, Soccer Moms, Sons, Stepmothers, Tantrums, Teenagers, Time, Vibrators, Waterbeds, Working Mothers, Writing Mothers
From the author of the internationally acclaimed Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath comes a funny, touching memoir of a crummy—and crumby—childhood.

Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Kate Moses was surrounded by sugar: Twinkies in the basement freezer, honey on the fried chicken, Baby Ruth bars in her father’s sock drawer. But sweetness of the more intangible variety was harder to come by. Her parents were disastrously mismatched, far too preoccupied with their mutual misery to notice its effects on their kids.

A frustrated artist, Kate’s beautiful, capricious mother lived in a constant state of creative and marital emergency, enlisting Kate as her confidante—“We’re the girls, we have to stick together”—and instructing her three children to refer to her in public as their babysitter. Kate’s father was aloof, ambitious, and prone to blasts of withering abuse increasingly directed at the daughter who found herself standing between her embattled parents. Kate looked for comfort in the imaginary worlds of books and found refuge in the kitchen, where she taught herself to bake and entered the one realm where she was able to wield control.

Telling her own story with the same lyricism, compassion, and eye for lush detail she brings to her fiction, coupled with the candor and humor she is known for in her personal essays, Kate Moses leavens each tale of her coming-of-age in Cakewalk with a recipe from her lifetime of confectionary obsession. There is the mysteriously erotic German Chocolate Cake implicated in a birds-and-bees speech when Kate was seven, the gingerbread people her mother baked for Christmas the year Kate officially realized she was fat, the chocolate chip cookies Kate used to curry favor during a hilariously gruesome adolescence, and the brownies she baked for her idol, the legendary M.F.K. Fisher, who pronounced them “delicious.”

Filled with the abundance and joy that were so lacking in Kate’s youth, Cakewalk is a wise, loving tribute to life in all its sweetness as well as its bitterness and, ultimately, a recipe for forgiveness.


From the Hardcover edition.
In June 1997, Camille Peri and Kate Moses launched the daily website Mothers Who Think on Salon.com for women who, like themselves, were starved for smart, honest stories about motherhood -- personal and intimate stories that went beyond tantrum control and potty training to grapple with the profound issues that affect women and their children. Like the online site, their bestselling, American Book Award-winning anthology Mothers Who Think struck a nerve across the country not just with mothers, but with all those who shared a vested interest in the raising of the next generation.

Because I Said So gives readers even more to think about. This new collection of fiercely honest essays edited by Peri and Moses captures the challenges of motherhood in the twenty-first century as no other book has. Writers such as Janet Fitch, Mariane Pearl, Mary Roach, Susan Straight, Margaret Talbot, Rosellen Brown, Beth Kephart, Ariel Gore, and Ana Castillo delve into the personal and the political, giving passionate expression to their relationships with their children and to their evolving sense of themselves. Provocative, candid, witty, and wise, their stories range from the anguish of giving up child custody to the guilt of having sex in an era of sexless marriages; from learning to love the full-speed testosterone chaos of boys to raising girls in a pervasively sexualized culture; from facing racial and religious intolerance with your children to surviving cancer and rap simultaneously.

Told in prose that is as unabashedly frank as it is lyrical, this is the collective voice of real mothers -- raised above the din -- in all their humor, anger, vulnerability, grace, and glory.

From the editors of the cutting-edge online magazine Salon come provocative essays that take an unflinching look at
the gritty truths and unreserved pleasures of contemporary motherhood.

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood, which grew out of Salon's popular daily department of the same name, comprises nearly forty essays by writers grappling with the new and compelling ideas that motherhood has dangled before them. Elevating the discussion of motherhood above the level of tantrum control and potty training, this collection covers an unparalleled range of topics, from the impossibility of loving your children equally to raising a son without a father, from worrying that your privileged black child is becoming too "white" to the free-floating anger most mothers feel but wouldn't dare admit--except to other mothers. The intelligent, candid essays in Mothers Who Think are a testament to the notion that motherhood gives women more to think about, not less.
        
Coeditors Camille Peri and Kate Moses have assembled the best writing from the website's first two years, including works by "Mothers Who Think" regulars Anne Lamott, Chitra Divakaruni, Susie Bright, and Stephanie Coontz; eloquent new essays by Jayne Anne Phillips, Sallie Tisdale, Susan Straight, Jane Lazarre, Nora Okja Keller, Beth Kephart, Ariel Gore, and Alex Witchel; and more than a dozen un-forgettable new voices.
        
Irreverent, wistful, hilarious, fierce, tender, these essays offer an unsparing look at the myths and realities, serious and silly sides, and thankless and supremely satisfying aspects of being a mother.

WRITERS

Erin Aubry, Karen Grigsby Bates, Susie Bright, Stephanie Coontz, Chitra Divakaruni, Celeste Fremon, Mona Gable, Leslie Goodman-Malamuth, Ariel Gore, Arlene Green, Nora Okja Keller, Beth Kephart, Anne Lamott, Jane Lazarre, Lori Leibovich, Ceil Malek, Joyce Millman, Kate Moses, Beth Myler, Debra S. Ollivier, Camille Peri, Jayne Anne Phillips, Elizabeth Rapoport, Jennifer Reese, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Cynthia Romanov, Catherine A. Salton, Sandi Kahn Shelton, Rose Stoll, Susan Straight, Sallie Tisdale,
Kim Van Meter, Cathy Wilkinson,  Alex Witchel

ON MOTHERHOOD

Adoption, Babysitters, Baths, Birth, Blenders, Bodies, Boys Without Men, Brothers, Car Pools, Cold Coffee, College, Cupcakes, Custody, Daughters, Death, Diapers, Divorce, Dramas, Dreams, Escape, Expectations, Experience, Fantasies, Fathers, Food, Grandmothers, Growing Up, Gumbo, Home, Hunger, Kiddie Pools, Language, Lists, Love, Memories, Mothers, Nursing, Pets, Pregnancy, Pride, Princesses, Rage, School, Separation, Sex, Single Mothers, Sippy Cups, Sisters, Sleep Deprivation, Smells, Soccer Moms, Sons, Stepmothers, Tantrums, Teenagers, Time, Vibrators, Waterbeds, Working Mothers, Writing Mothers
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