American Isis

Carl Rollyson (Author) Michael Flamini (Editor)

Product Details

$20.00  $18.40
St. Martin's Press
Publish Date
March 04, 2014
5.48 X 0.91 X 8.35 inches | 0.66 pounds
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About the Author

Carl Rollyson is professor of journalism at Baruch College, The City University of New York and the author of twelve biographies including Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress and, with his wife, Lisa Paddock, Susan Sontag: The Making of an Icon. He reviews biographies regularly for The Wall Street Journal, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Washington Post, The New Criterion, and other papers. He writes a column every two weeks for He lives in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.


"The figure that emerges from Rollyson's study is certainly compelling, and very much a woman of her moment and culture." --Publishers Weekly

"Rollyson...has diligently combed the archives and interviewed Plath's Smith College classmates and others who knew her. His workmanlike narrative gathers force when it reaches the inevitably fascinating marriage, which Rollyson compares to Monroe's ill-fated union with playwright Arthur Miller." --The Boston Globe

"Refreshingly judicious and often eloquent...Rollyson's account credibly outlines the claustrophobic effects on Plath of social, familial, and marital pressures that may have proved her undoing." --The Washington Post

"Concise, fast-moving, and reliable." --The New York Times

"Garbo, Garland, Monroe, Plath, thrilling divas one and all. Carl Rollyson's American Isis is a tour de force that reinvents Sylvia Plath for the 21st century. I was sorry to turn the final page." --Marion Meade, author of Lonelyhearts: The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney

"Carl Rollyson's impeccably researched, compulsively readable life of Sylvia Plath is likely to remain for years to come the definitive biography of this complex, fascinating woman. I could not put the book down." --Donald Spoto, author of High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly and The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams

"An illuminating work on Plath by an accomplished biographer. While not underestimating Plath's troubled nature, Rollyson recognizes her as the agent of her own fame: a skilled mythmaker who worked hard to become not only a great poet but also an intellectual celebrity. Like Marilyn Monroe, who influenced her, she both shaped and reflected her times, becoming a symbol for our age." --Lois Banner, Professor of History and Gender Studies, University of Southern California. Author of Marilyn Monroe: The Passion and the Paradox