|Plath on her first day at Mademoiselle. Later she would write: “I am worn out now with the strenuous days at the office and the heat and the evenings out. I want to come home and sleep and … get tan again.”|
Plath books at the moment, including two on her marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes, and one one her 1953 summer in New York working for a month as a guest editor for the "college" issue of Mademoiselle (along with 19 other young women—many of whom author Elizabeth Winder interviews for Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953). Above left: Plath leaves her home in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on her way to New York City.
|Plath interviewing Elizabeth Bowen for Mademoiselle|
Plath always knew that she stood apart from others. Because she was viewed as "dangerously brainy," she felt it was in her self-interest to mask her sharp intellect and turbulent emotions. Not only did she embody the role of a perfect, straight-A student, but she was determined to become popular. She also pursued the approval of adults, both at school and at home. Other students might merely work hard, but she burned with determination. Before her first short story appeared in Seventeen (in the August, 1950 issue), Plath had submitted forty-five pieces to the magazine. At eighteen, she berated herself in her journal: "What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don't know and I'm afraid. I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want."
|Plath with fellow poet Ted Hughes, in happier times|