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Download Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath Audiobook, by Stephanie Hemphill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (605 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephanie Hemphill Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9780739380864
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Your Own, Sylvia draws on Plath’s writing and extensive nonfiction sources, chronicling Hemphill’s interpretation of Plath’s life from infancy to her death by suicide at age 30. The poems are arranged chronologically and each conveys an experience in Plath’s life told via the voice and perspective of family members, friends, doctors, fellow writers, etc.—as interpreted by Hemphill. Each poem is accompanied by an addendum that further explains the factual circumstances of that poem’s subject. The book also includes an Author’s Note, some photos, a section describing the source material for each poem, and suggestions for further reading.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An intimate, comprehensive, imaginative view of a life, which also probes the relationships between poetry and creativity, mental fragility, love, marriage, and betrayal.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Starred review, Kirkus Reviews, February 2007:
    "[R]eaders come away with a sense ofreally knowing Plath . . . a must for any young-adult reader of poetry or Plath."
  • Starred review, Booklist, February 15, 2007:
    "[A]n intimate, comprehensive, imaginative view of a life, which also probes the relationships between poetry and creativity, mental fragility, love, marriage, and betrayal."
  • Starred review, The Horn Book Magazine, March/April 2007:
  • Hemphill's verse, like Plath's, is completely compelling: every word, every line, worth reading."
  • A 2008 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book
  • A 2008 ALA Best Book for Young Adults
  • Winner of Printz Honors, 2008

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 1/12/2014

    " THis book was just okay. It's a big challange to have to create excellent poems about a poet. Not an objective view of her life at all and I don't think deserving of so many honors at it received. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sue | 1/3/2014

    " i have been a longtime fan of sylvia plath. i really liked the way the author used her own poetry, sylvia's poetry, and history to tell the story of sylvia's life and death. greatly expanded my knowledge about her, and will probably lead me to read some of the biographies mentioned in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JuJu | 12/17/2013

    " I am not too familiar with Sylvia Plath's work, but a friend recommended this book and I quite enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/26/2013

    " Tragedy. Brilliance. Poetry. These things put together add up to Sylvia Plath. The brilliant and beautiful Sylvia Plath was torn apart by her public ambitions, private life, and personal demons. Burdened with guilt over her father's death when she is eight, she spent the rest of her life trying to prove her worth. She could never be too thin, too popular, or too accomplished. She won scholarships to Smith and Cambridge but needed constant psychiatric help. Rejecting many suitors, she marries Ted Hughes, a British poet with whom she could not form a happy marriage, leading to divorce and a tragic end. Here you can follow her life and work through in poetry told from the perspectives of the people around her -- her family members, friends, doctors, fellow writers and acquaintances. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 11/25/2013

    " I liked the poems, but was not thrilled with the tid bits of bio at the bottom. I like a biography to be a biography, and poems to be poems I guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget R. Wilson | 11/18/2013

    " What a magnificent book. The idea to use poetry to tell Plath's story is genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marisa | 11/15/2013

    " Great book, loved the words and the poetry. Sylvia was so brilliant and she was an incredible woman. She deserved better than Ted. I blame him for everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe | 10/19/2013

    " An impressive work--carefully researched, personal, and beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy | 4/29/2013

    " This YA novel written in verse revisits the life of doomed poet, Sylvia Plath. After each verse entry, the author has added footnotes, adding more information pertaining to the entry. This book is a keeper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Claire Hessing | 5/23/2012

    " During the entire book, I went back and forth between liking it and being really annoyed with it. Some of the conjecture seemed rather presumptuous. Maybe I just needed to know more about Plath before reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 5/20/2012

    " I know a book has done its job on me when I run to the computer to google images of the characters and places in the book. I loved the verses, historical annotations and the education about Plath. You need not be a Plath fan to enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/8/2012

    " This is shelved in Biography at the library and I even have it "shelved" that way here, but this "biography" of Sylvia Plath reads more like a novel in verse and even states at the outset that is "first and foremost a work of fiction." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginger | 1/23/2012

    " An ambitious book that attempts, with varying success, to tell Plath's story in the voices of those who knew her "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Harris | 10/16/2011

    " an incredible, deep, amazing book. I do not think it should be classified as adult lit. I think it reaches a far bigger audience. My sister the poet has always felt a kindered spirit to Sylvia. My sister was born on Feb 10, 1963. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 5/28/2011

    " This begs to be read in one sitting. It drew me in, despite the sad subject matter. Interesting format: poetry written by one author as if from perspectives of multiple people in the life of Sylvia Plath. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charissa | 4/17/2011

    " It's a biography of Sylvia Plath written in verse - awesome! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 3/24/2011

    " I haven't read much of Sylvia Plath's work, but I enjoyed this tale of a tortured writer who ended up taking her own life. I'm going to check out Plath's work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith | 10/22/2010

    " I am not too familiar with Sylvia Plath's work, but a friend recommended this book and I quite enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 10/13/2010

    " A unique examination of Sylvia Plath's life and tragic death. I found the additional notes at the bottom of each poem annoying and unnecessary since the poems were self-explanatory, but other than that I really enjoyed this book. It made me want to do some further reading about Sylvia Plath. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 7/9/2010

    " verse novel on the life of Sylvia Plath, very poignant "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia | 6/26/2010

    " I have got to get my hands on some Sylvia Plath. It was interesting to read this book without knowing much about her, but I'm absolutely awestruck! Thanks for the recommendation Laila! "

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About the Author
Author Stephanie Hemphill

Stephanie Hemphill is also the award-winning author of Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist; Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath, a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Sisters of Glass; and Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.