Primary research exploring why many of Sylvia Plath’s readers become so attached to her as a cultural figure
An innovative and theoretical approach to the relationship between author and reader
Previously unpublished photographs
A creative exploration of ways in which fandom can manifest itself
The Haunted Reader and Sylvia Plath takes an unusual approach to studies on this enigmatic literary figure, focusing on the readers rather than the historical figure herself. Working from the premise that Plath is a highly visible cultural figure, this book explores why her readers become so attached to her. Why does she have such a large and devoted following? What is it about her that attracts people and once they are drawn in, how does this fandom manifest itself? This book is based on primary research carried out by the author who has collected stories and accounts from readers of Plath and explores key areas such as the first encounter with Plath, ways in which fans feel they ‘double’ with her, pilgrimages that they make to places where she lived and worked, how they interact with her images and how they respond to objects owned by Plath.
This study is unique and there is no other book that deals with this subject. As such, The Haunted Reader and Sylvia Plath offers a fascinating and original approach not only to Plath scholarship, but to the increasing body of literature on fandom studies.
Gail Crowther was awarded her PhD from Lancaster University in 2010. She is the author of several papers and chapters on Sylvia Plath and co-author of Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year’s Turning published by Fonthill Media in 2014.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 176 pages
Illustrations: 13 black-and-white photographs