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Anne Sexton: A Biography

↠ Anne Sexton: A Biography ↠ Diane Wood Middlebrook - Anne Sexton: A Biography, Anne Sexton A Biography 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

  • Title: Anne Sexton: A Biography
  • Author: Diane Wood Middlebrook
  • ISBN: 9780679741824
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Paperback

↠ Anne Sexton: A Biography ↠ Diane Wood Middlebrook, Anne Sexton: A Biography, Diane Wood Middlebrook, Anne Sexton A Biography 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 nominateAnne Sex ↠ Anne Sexton: A Biography ↠ Diane Wood Middlebrook - Anne Sexton: A Biography, Anne Sexton A Biography 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

  • ↠ Anne Sexton: A Biography ↠ Diane Wood Middlebrook
    345Diane Wood Middlebrook
Anne Sexton: A Biography

About "Diane Wood Middlebrook"

  1. Diane Wood Middlebrook

    Middlebrook, who taught at Stanford for 35 years, was perhaps best known for Anne Sexton A Biography Its intense scrutiny of the poet s life made it one of the turning points of late 20th century biography, according to thenewspaper Middlebrook published several other well received biographies and works of criticism, and was known for funding various arts organizations and literary salons for women Born in Pocatello, Idaho, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington in 1961 and earned her Ph.D from Yale in 1968 She married Carl Djerassi, inventor of the birth control pill in 1985.

476 Comments

  1. An interesting read, to say the least About 8 or 9 years ago, several of my friends, after reading some pieces I wrote, said that my words reminded them of Sexton I had never heard of her but at some point bought a volume of her collected works Flicking through it one day last year, I realised I needed to know who this woman was so that I could understand what force drove the poems This book certainly helped me understand the force and a lot of the imagery that Sexton uses in her work And now I [...]


  2. It s a bit hard to imagine what another Anne Sexton biography might look like I read this for the first time maybe two or three years ago, and remember thinking what else could I possibly find out about AS s life This time around, however, I began to notice subjective directions Middlebrook had taken, paths, perhaps, another biographer would powerfully emphasize or maybe ignore altogether You can certainly hear the preference for a pseudo psychoanalytic reading of her life and poetry in this bi [...]


  3. This is a great book It really makes me feel like I m right there with Anne and her family When the book describes her hard at work, writting poem after poem, it s like you are hunched over the typewriter with her I can no longer just casually pick up this book to read on a lazy day my head has to be in the right space, but I hope that I ll be able to do that again sometime soon Perhaps in the summertime when the weather is fine and the sun is shinning I ll make my way back to this lovely book W [...]


  4. A fascinating and shocking biography of the controversial poet Anne Sexton Struggling with complicated mental illness, Sexton began writing poems about her experiences as a form of therapy She quickly experienced success as her poems were printed in leading publications such as The New Yorker These poems were at times shocking, brutal and above all confessional She became one of the leading confessional poets of the 1950s and 1960s along with the likes of Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell Her poetr [...]


  5. Anne Sexton is an American poet most famous for her intense, shocking and autobiographical poems and for having committed suicide, much like her friend Sylvia Plath She had spent most of her 20s fighting depression and suicidal thoughts, and her therapist suggested she begin to write poetry to help her express her feelings The suggestion was like a match to paper Anne Sexton took fire, and wrote obsessively Within a remarkably short time, she was one of America s best known poets and had won the [...]


  6. This biography acted as my main reference when analysing a number of Sexton s poems It s extremely comprehensive, and Middlebrook s writing truly captures the delicate intricacy of Sexton s life I d recommend this to anyone who s wanting to understand Sexton s poems in greater context.


  7. I am torn in two, but I will conquer myself I will take scissors and cut out the beggar I will take a crowbar and pry out the broken pieces of God in me.



  8. Diane Wood Middlebrook s ANNE SEXTON A BIOGRAPHY tells the intricate story of how the poet turned to writing to keep from killing herself Through detailed therapy notes and transcripts, interviews with friends and colleagues, and personal files and letters, this biography chronicles Sexton s life from her youth in Massachusetts until the suicide that took her life Middlebrook explores Sexton s time as a socially acceptable housewife, her disintegration into an abusive mother and seductress, and [...]


  9. A fascinating read I recently read Ian Hamilton s biography of Robert Lowell and gave it the same rating, but I think Middlebrook wrote a far better, detailed biography Anne Sexton was a complicated woman She didn t start writing poetry till age 29 her rebirth at 29 she called it and never went to college, although she would go on to receive three honorary doctorates Her family life was difficult growing up and there is reason to suspect she was sexually abused I have never been wild about Sext [...]


  10. The book is candid, well researched, and well written, but be prepared for the description of a very sordid life The question that remains unanswered is, what came first, Anne s mental illness or her bad behavior Did her mental illness cause her to seek refuge in alcohol, chain smoking, pills, and promiscuous sex, or did those habits feed her mental derangement Anne was in psychotherapy for most of her adult life Talk therapy was greatly in vogue back then It has been proven ineffective in curin [...]


  11. 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 led to her first hospitalization, the affairs, the alcoholism, the immense talent and the galloping madness that would ultimately take the poet s life in 1974 There is so much background information here Anne s surviving family, her doctors and her fellow poet friends all provide much needed and valu [...]


  12. I really enjoyed this insightful biography of one of my favourite poets Although I do think it could have explored her actual poems a bit and perhaps provide a schedule of her daily life, it was filled with many interesting and important details highlighted by the extensive bibliography sources used I think I read somewhere that this is one of the most accurate biographies of Anne Sexton which I guess is true because Middlebrook evidently made sure to get in touch with as many people of Sexton [...]


  13. An absolutely mesmerizing biography the best I feel I ve ever read Middlebrook deftly captures all that is dark and light, horrible and laudable, about Anne Sexton and arranges a remarkably coherent narrative of such a difficult figure My absolute favorite part of the book is Middlebrook s descriptions of Sexton s writing process She explains quite well how a mad housewife could transform herself into a Pulitzer Prize winning poet I wish I had read this book a decade ago Also, Anne Sexton far ou [...]


  14. One of my grandmother s oldest friends was Sexton s closest friend at Smith afterward Also knew Plath J.C Oates Now she has disappeared won t talk to anyone from the old days, especially writers.I don t blame her at all.Other than that, I really enjoyed the description of the end of AS s life, especially what happened to her teaching how her students responded to her disintegration.




  15. Diane Wood Middlebrook s biography of Anne Sexton was balanced and insightful enough so as not to be too intrusive it is simple and direct, as I believe this biography ought to be It could be much True But that would somehow seem indecent It is a written work that will tantalize many readers to want to know of Sexton s earlier life and later chaotic often disgusting behavior Anne Sexton did indeed have some major psychological problems She envied Sylvia Plath s suicide and inflicted mental abu [...]


  16. A great book that goes into detail about Anne Sexton s psychology through talking with her therapists and friends A beautiful woman, Anne Sexton was a model before she married and had two daughters She began taking a poetry class and used poetry as a tool to work through her emotional problems She eventually killed herself and this book goes into detail about how troubled she was She believed she had been sexually molested by her father and this effected her whole life Her relationship with her [...]


  17. in a lot of ways, anne sexton reminds me of myself if things had gone much, much worse in my earlier life and if my issues went unchecked and untreated she was beautiful, but lived a life full of insecurity, which is what so many of the women i know battle with daily the so called confessional aspect of her poetry was reinforced by the true life experiences that fueked this creative, demented mind, making her poetry which i already loved come alive with new meaningis book was beautifully written [...]


  18. Diane Middlebrook knows her subject well, and Linda Gray Sexton Anne s daughter attests to that in her book entitled45 Mercy Street A Journey back to my Mother Anne Sexton She might ve received a lot of flack from the media because she not only revealed the identity of dr Martin Orne, who saw Anne for years, but also the contents of some of the tapes that were used during Anne s therapy Middlebrook knew how to be sensitive about her subject and so doesn t reveal too much In fact, the reader obta [...]


  19. Middlebrook provided much insight into the life of a woman plagued with mental disorders and an uncanny ability to write poetry about her life She also provided insight about writing and reading poetry Sexton was a mad housewife and began writing to live She did unforgivable things yet was a disciplined, intelligent, beautiful artist capable of as much love as she was destructive behaviors Anne Sexton is the poet of all poets She paved the way for confessional poetry and is the reason I started [...]


  20. To be honest, I never finished this book I got about 2 3 of the way through, and then it just became quite dry, in my opinion.Having been a fan of her poetry, I found it incredibly interesting to read about what prompted her to start writing poetry, and her lifestyle it gave you a nice behind the scenes look at everything However, that thrill soon died off, and I found myself bored with the book.A decent read for the first half, and maybe I shall pick it up again and finish the rest, but this bo [...]


  21. A beautifully written book that shows so much understanding for all of the people involved in Sexton s life and, of course, for Sexton herself and her work As a friend recently reminded me, the book is also ethically murky, as it was written in close collaboration with Anne s therapist Dr Orne, breaking the patient therapist code of conduct Still, I am riveted by the complete portrait of an intriguing writer with a difficult personality and life As Denise Levertov wrote after Anne Sexton s suici [...]


  22. More than just what it was like to be Anne Sexton, Diane Wood Middlebrook gives a really accurate idea of what it would have been like to LIVE with Anne Sexton, to be part of her life It would have been exhausting Because of that, the book is, at times, exhausting Sometimes I just felt exhausted to the point of being done with her, like go ahead and get to the part where you kill yourself already I don t recommend this book if you don t want to dig deep into Sexton s life or if you don t want to [...]


  23. What a life I was exhausted just reading this The poetry is the work of a genius, which usually carries a load of personality baggage, but Sexton was also a manic depressive in and out of institutions and placing a huge burden on her family She was mean, demanding and a pretty shit mother But that era, the drugs were hardcore and there was far less understanding of mental illness, so I did feel sympathetic Also yet again, reading of another women of that era, shoehorned into marriage and motherh [...]


  24. The only reason I would not give this five stars is because of the subject of Anne Sexton herself While I like some of her work, the majority of her poems are not very attractive to me, this is totally subjective of course as is my rating The missing star is due to the fact that not having had much insight in Sexton s work or life previously to reading this bio, I wonder what aspects I would have liked to hear about or perhaps less about Nonetheless I thought this book covered just about all it [...]


  25. Diane Wood Middlebrook was given access to a large amount of personal information from the life of Anne Sexton including tapes of her psychiatric sessons The writing of this Biography shows that and through this we get a detailed peek into the world of Anne Sexton I learned much about her that I did not know before and I came to a better understanding of who she was as a person warts and all We see the greatness she had and the flaws which we all have and is a part of what makes us who we are.


  26. A compelling story of one of the most creative, troubled people I have ever read about Sexton, despite her lack of education she didn t go to college in the traditional sense , was a brilliant poet Her ability to write poetry kept her alive longer than she could have survived, had she not written Ultimately, her story ends tragically, but it is a fascinating portrait of a person beset by various demons, whose words live on.


  27. This was a very thoughtful biography Perhaps in part because Anne Sexton was such a dynamic figure, Middlebrook s book is immediately engaging and rarely dry throughout all 400 pages Middlebrook treats Anne Sexton as a professional first she provides a thorough discussion of Sexton s mental health and it s relationship to her art, but she never fetishizes Sexton s illness When this book ended, I cried for Anne, which surely speaks to the strength of this biography.


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