Lover of Unreason by Yehuda Koren
Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes' Doomed Love

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Synopsis

The failure of the marriage between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes has always been considered from one of two conflicting viewpoints: hers or his. Missing for more than four decades has been a third perspective on the events that brought their marriage to its ill-fated end, the story of another—the other—woman: Hughes’ mistress Assia Wevill.

Like Plath before her, Assia shared her life with Hughes for seven years, until she took her own life and that of their daughter at the age of forty-two, in a manner that nearly replicated Plath’s suicide six years earlier. Drawing on previously unavailable documents and private papers, including Assia’s diaries and her intimate correspondence with Hughes, this book shows the vital influence Assia exerted on the poet and his work, and the uneasy life they shared under the long shadow of Plath.

A Lover of Unreason is the first-ever full-length biography of Assia Wevill. It casts a keen light, and explores the emergence of a singular twentieth-century woman. Three-times divorcée, career woman, mistress, and single mother, Assia Wevill openly defied the conventions of a censorious pre-feminist Britain and mesmerized men and women alike with her quick-mind and exotic beauty.
 

About Yehuda Koren

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Eilat Negevi is the senior literary correspondent for Yedioth Achronot, the major Israeli daily newspaper. She has published two books in Hebrew—Intimate Conversations (1995) and Private Lives (2001)—both of them collections of her interviews with authors, and a similar collection in English, Close Encounters. Most recently she coauthored In Our Hearts We Were Giants with Yehuda Koren, with whom she lives in Jerusalem.Yehuda Koren is a freelance journalist. He writes features for the British, Israeli, and German press, including the London Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and Die Welt. A frequent traveler to Europe, he has interviewed many prominent academics and writers, among them George Steiner, Theodor Zeldin, Martin Amis, Roddy Doyle, and Eri de Luca. In 1994 Koren published his first book A Straight Line in the Circle of Life: The Biography of an Israeli General . His second book was In Our Hearts We Were Giants, which he coauthored with Eilat Negev.Both Koren and Negev receive frequent invitations to speak about their experience as authors and journalists at writing conferences and book events in the United States and the UK. They participated in the International Miami Book Fair in 2004, and they took part in numerous programs during Jewish Book Month. They have spoken about and read from their work at bookshops, book clubs, libraries, schools, and universities, before audiences of all types and ages.Their expertise on the subjects of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, as well as Assia Wevill, took Koren and Negev to Indiana University in October 2002, where they were the keynote speakers at Plath’s 70th anniversary symposium—an event attended by an international audience of the foremost Plath scholars and ardent students of her poetry. Three years later, in October 2005, before a similarly discerning audience, they delivered the closing lecture of the Hughes International Conference at Emory University.
 
Published December 6, 2006 by Carroll & Graf. 384 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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] Her German the dark undercurrent In her Kensington jeweller's elocution Was your ancestral Black Forest whisper - [...] Warily you cultivated her, Her Jewishness, her many-blooded beauty [ ...

Oct 28 2006 | Read Full Review of Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevi...

Publishers Weekly

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While Koren and Negev (In Our Hearts We Were Giants: The Remarkable Story of the Lilliput Troupe ) don't whitewash Assia's volatile, self-absorbed personality or her serial adulteries, they do contradict the widespread impression that Assia was the initial seducer of Hughes.

Oct 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevi...

BC Books

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Feb 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevi...

BC Books

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Could it possibly have ended any differently?” Still, as I read Lover of Unreason, I found myself asking another question: “Why am I reading this book, so full of tragedy and excruciatingly flawed people?” Lover of Unreason explores the cipher in the Plath-Hughes equation, the shadow in the noon...

Feb 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevi...

USA Today

Then add tragedy: two suicides and the murder of a 4-year-old girl.Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes's Doomed Love is the first book to flesh out Assia Wevill, the mysterious woman whose affair with British poet Ted Hughes probably contributed to the suicide of ...

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PopMatters

The writer William Trevor thought her looks were “reminiscent of Sophia Loren in a tranquil moment,” and the Irish poet Richard Murphy was stunned by her “Babylonian beauty.” The bristlingly masculine Hughes began their affair by leaving a note at her London office, saying he had come to see her ...

Mar 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevi...

Oprah.com

Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes's Doomed Love, by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev (Carroll & Graf), is a fascinating portrait of this conflicted woman, a lost soul who, tormented by her own struggles with the womanizing Hughes (the two never married), killed hers...

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