The Modern Library - the 200 best novels in English since 1950
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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This novel is written in a tone of brutal honesty moving closer and closer to exasperation and breakdown. It traces the story of Esther's mental illness, but the book is also very funny and frank about social and sexual ambition in 1950's America, the worry about sex and boys, the tension between a Puritan upbringing and sudden, bright chances presented to our heroine.

Sylvia Plath was born in Boston. She committed suicide a month after The Bell Jar was published.

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath