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Giving Up is Jillian Becker’s intimate account of her brief but extraordinary time with Sylvia Plath during the winter of 1963, the last months of the poet’s life. Abandoned by Ted Hughes, Sylvia found companionship and care in the home of Becker and her husband, who helped care for the estranged couple’s two small children while Sylvia tried to rest. In clear-eyed recollections unclouded by the intervening decades, Becker describes the events of Sylvia’s final days and suicide: her physical and emotional state, her grief over Hughes’s infidelity, her mysterious meeting with an unknown companion the night before her suicide, and the harsh aftermath of her funeral. Alongside this tragic conclusion is a beautifully rendered portrait of a friendship between two very different women.
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A writer with whom the poet spent her last weekend perceptively details her final days.
Thoughtful and intelligent: a welcome corrective to the legend. -- Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2003
Becker doesn't portray herself as the heroine, or Plath as pure victim...a fascinating book. -- Drexel University: The Drexel Online Journal,
In a bare 44 pages, Jillian Becker fits in more good sense and compassion on the subject of Sylvia Plath than books ten times as long. -- Independent on Sunday, 19 May 2002, Books pages
The bitterness and rancour surrounding the suicide of Sylvia Plath is revealed in a new book ... defying years of "censorship" by [the Hughes] family. -- Independent on Sunday, 19 May 2002, main paper
[A] book utterly devoid of sentiment, a clear-eyed view of the suicide...plain-spoken and frank in its judgments. -- RockyMountainNews.com, November 15, 2003
GIVING UP: THE LAST DAYS OF SYLVIA PLATH was made the subject of a "scoop" in the INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 19 May 2002 because it revealed for the first time what Ted Hughes said to Jillian Becker at Sylvia Plath's funeral - a story that the Hughes family would not allow to appear in BITTER FAME, the biography of Plath by Anne Stevenson. See the quotation from the Independent on Sunday's review.
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Book Description Gordonville, VA, U.S.A.: St. Martin's Press, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. St. Martin's Press, 2003. Hardcover with dj First US edition stated A BRAND NEW BOOK UNUSED. Full refund if not satisfied. 24 hour despatch. Seller Inventory # bulk79
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0312315988
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0312315988
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110312315988