Sexton, Anne: Further Reading

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Northouse, Cameron, and Thomas P. Walsh. Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton: A Reference Guide. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall, 1974, 143 p.

Annotated checklist of publications about Sexton and her work, dated but valuable.


Middlebrook, Diane. Anne Sexton: A Biography. London: Vintage, 1992, 528 p.

Reconstructs Sexton's life and interprets her works based on audiotapes of the poet's psychotherapy sessions, which has prompted controversy in some quarters.

Sexton, Linda Gray. Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton. Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, 1994, 307 p.

Biography of Sexton by her daughter.


Furst, Arthur, and Linda Gray Sexton. Anne Sexton: The Last Summer, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000, 128 p.

Contains photographs taken during the summer before Sexton's suicide and includes previously unpublished letters and early drafts of poems.

George, Diana Hume. "How We Danced: Anne Sexton on Fathers and Daughters." Women's Studies 12, no. 2 (1986): 179-202.

Traces the development of the father-daughter motif throughout Sexton's poetry in terms of the social structures and psychoanalytic traditions of Western culture.

——. "The Poetic Heroism of Anne Sexton." Literature and Psychology 33, nos. 3-4 (1987): 76-88.

Identifies Sexton's poetic persona with the mythical figure of Oedipus, interpreting the thematic recurrence of infancy and parent-child relationships in Sexton's works within the context of feminist psychoanalytic revisions of the ancient myth.

Johnson, Greg. "The Achievement of Anne Sexton." Hollins Critic 21, no. 2 (June 1984): 1-13.

Provides an overview of Sexton's poetry in terms of a search for identity, both personal and social.

Long, Mikhail Ann. "As If Day Had Rearranged into Night: Suicidal Tendencies in the Poetry of Anne Sexton." Literature and Psychology 39, nos. 1-2 (1993): 26-41.

Demonstrates that the entire canon of Sexton's poetry is founded upon her desire to die and informed by suicidal thoughts.

McClatchy, J. D., ed. Anne Sexton: The Artist and Her Critics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978, 297 p.

Documents and interprets Sexton's work through previously published interviews with Sexton, a revision of "Elizabeth Gone," personal reflections by those who knew her, including Robert Lowell and Maxine Kumin, early reviews by noted writers, and several overview essays on her works.

Morton, Richard E. Anne Sexton's Poetry of Redemption: The Chronology of a Pilgrimage. Lewiston, Maine: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989, 137 p.

Examines Sexton's poetry.

Ostriker, Alicia. "That Story: Anne Sexton and Her Transformations." American Poetry Review 11, no. 4 (July-August 1982): 11-17.

Discusses the significance of Transformations, comparing the volume with respect to the themes and structure of Sexton's other works.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. Critical Essays on Anne Sexton. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1989, 254 p.

Contains reviews, essays, and reminiscences tracing the critical reputation of Sexton and her poetry.


Additional coverage of Sexton's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: American Writers Supplement, Vol. 2; Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography, 1941-1968; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 1-4R, 53-56; Contemporary Authors Bibliographical Series, Vol. 2; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vols. 3, 36; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vols. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, 53, 123; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 5, 169; DISCovering Authors; DISCovering Authors: British Edition; DISCovering Authors: Canadian Edition; DISCovering Authors Modules: Most-studied Authors and Poets; DISCovering Authors 3.0; Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, Ed. 3; Exploring Poetry; Feminist Writers; Literature Resource Center; Major 20th-Century Writers, Eds. 1, 2; Modern American Women Writers; Poetry Criticism, Vol. 2; Poetry for Students, Vols. 4, 14; Poets: American and British; Reference Guide to American Literature, Ed. 4; Something about the Author, Vol. 10; Twayne's United States Authors; and World Literature Criticism.