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Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom: A Story
Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom: A Story | Sylvia Plath
21 posts | 19 read | 20 to read
Never before published, this newly discovered story by literary legend Sylvia Plath stands on its own and is remarkable for its symbolic, allegorical approach to a young woman's rebellion against convention and forceful taking control of her own life. Written while Sylvia Plath was a student at Smith College in 1952, Mary Ventura and The Ninth Kingdom tells the story of a young woman's fateful train journey.Lips the color of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like "guilt, and guilt, and guilt" these are just some of the things Mary Ventura begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom."But what is the ninth kingdom?" she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. "It is the kingdom of the frozen will," comes the reply. "There is no going back."Sylvia Plath's strange, dark tale of female agency and independence, written not long after she herself left home, grapples with mortality in motion.
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LapReader
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Pickpick

Finally posting my scores from the Sydney Writer‘s Festival. Half of the authors I had not heard of before I attended the festival. I think I will give my sister the arsonist as she has a fire bug for a son. Insomnia is for my partner Stew who isn‘t a good sleeper just like his 10 year old daughter! I may or may not giveaway Sea Prayer. I bought a second copy of Little Girl on the Ice Floe for @Miss__astrid and you can‘t go wrong with some Sylvia.

Freespirit Great stack....only one I know is The Arsonist 2w
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Monique
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Pickpick

“Guilt, the train wheels clucked like round black birds, and guilt, and guilt, and guilt.”

Plath's short allegorical story starts off innocently enough, subtly revealing the more sinister subplot as the tale weaves on.

Rejecting the guilt and expectation--running from a society that would have you shut up and keep your to your place--I loved that. It's dangerous and scary and the only way to be free.

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danimgill
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Pickpick

The experience of reading this “lost” story of Sylvia Plath‘s is definitely better for having read her previously published work and for knowing her life story, but it‘s still a good, atmospheric, open-to-lots-of-interpretations short story.

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overtheedge
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Pickpick

I have not seen anything "new" from Slyvia Plath, and was pleasantly surprised by this short, yet subtle novella. Mary is on a ride, but she is not sure where....or if she will get there.
Atmosphere, you can feel Mary's growing daunting feelings....if you like Plath, you will like this.
If you haven't read her yet, this is a great starting point....

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fleeting
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Pickpick

Maybe this could have been a novel, polished better as Plath grew older, but this is a story written while she was young and never got developed, so I think that should be factored in to the rating. Mostly for Plath fans who just want to get their hands on more of her works, but still recommended for those who would like a quick read that leaves a lot of questions (which I also understand is "a lot to be desired" for others).

Severnmeadows Never heard of this one! 1mo
fleeting @Severnmeadows it's fairly new; a recently-discovered short story of hers. 😊 1mo
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Brie
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Pickpick

Sylvia Plath‘s lost short story from her college years, this eerie little tale follows young Mary Ventura as she takes a train ride to the mysterious Ninth Kingdom. But what exactly is that destination? Rich in symbolism, with a Twilight Zone vibe.

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WanderingBookaneer
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Leftcoastzen
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I need to stay home and read my own books! The Bukowski vinyl was an Independent Bookstore Day item .Been wanting the Plath.I do love to support my indie!📚

LauraJ Buk! 2mo
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TrishB
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Thank you Jenny 😘 I haven‘t read yet, so will look forward to this !! I love the new cards too.
Thank you for thinking of me- I have some days off next week so will be catching up on
#jbuk correspondence!

Cathythoughts Gorgeous ✨✨✨ 3mo
jenniferw88 😊😊😊 3mo
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Bertha_Mason

I will admit it; I just got had. Taken in. Played. I only have myself to blame. I fell for the posthumous Sylvia Plath hype, and ended up spending almost ten bucks on a digital copy of a single, early-career short story of only twenty-two pages. The story wasn't bad, though reading it high gave me a strong Joanna-Russ-meets-C.S.-Lewis vibe.

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Weaponxgirl
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Pickpick

This is a super quick read that was pretty cheap on kindle so it got picked up.
This is early Plath and it‘s like a old folktale/episode of the twilight zone. It‘s not as good as her later work but if you love Plath you will see the moments of her finding her true voice coming through so it‘s worth reading for that alone.
It‘s not essential reading but it is interesting.

Weaponxgirl Knowing even the smallest amount about plaths history makes the ending particularly interesting. I kinda made me wince as you can take it either way and I‘d love to know what others who have read the book think about it. 4mo
TrishB Still waiting for mine as I wanted hardback to go with the rest of my collection. 4mo
Weaponxgirl @TrishB I look forward to hearing what you think! 4mo
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perfectlywinged
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Pickpick

Coffee, cupcake, and a newly released Plath story make the perfect Valentines Day. So far this story is more fantastical than her other stuff (definitely like a twilight zone episode) and heavy on the metaphors but I love it.

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LeePeckover
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Pickpick

Poetry is the perfect words in the perfect order. Which I think makes this a short allegorical poetic prose piece.
Interesting in an allegorical and thematic sense and with enough story to keep interest over the (extremely) short story here. This is an interesting piece for someone to have written at such a young age. Dark, foreboding and intense.
A worthwhile read, which is heightened by virtue of knowledge of later events in the author's life.

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HotCocoaReads
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Pickpick

We get a little more of the Sylvia Plath we love in this story—and it won‘t disappoint! It‘s dark and ominous and knowing what we do about Plath, you‘ll feel like you got a little more of her soul. I devoured it this morning! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Linsy Pretty! ☕️ 4mo
LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to this one. 👍🏻 4mo
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ju.ca.no
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Thanks to everyone who thought of me on my birthday🤗
This is my present for myself😂 I can‘t wait to read it😊

Kalalalatja Great gift to treat yourself with! Hope you had a lovely day ❤️ 5mo
ephemeralwaltz Yay you! Hope you had a wonderful day. Excited to hear your thoughts on this one as I have been thinking about getting it for myself 😍 5mo
JennyM Oooo...I saw this when it was released a month or so ago. Enjoy....😘 And hope you had s great day 5mo
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ju.ca.no @Kalalalatja I had, thank you🤗🤗😘 5mo
ju.ca.no @ephemeralwaltz it‘s a very short story that leaves a lot to one‘s imagination! I‘ve enjoyed it 😊 5mo
ju.ca.no @JennyM I just found out about it a week ago and had to buy it right away😍 (edited) 5mo
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Bookalong
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Pickpick

5/5🌟 for this one!!
OH Plath ❤
A strange, ominous and gripping tale!
I was on the edge of my seat anxiously awaiting Mary's fate. Plath starts off with a seemingly normal train ride that quickly builds into a dark and ominous tale full of allegory and perturbed imagery. Plath was only 20 years old when she submitted this story to Mademoiselle Magazine and it was rejected. Glad we get to experience it now.
#bookreview #sylviaplath #booklover

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rretzler
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Mehso-so

I loved The Bell Jar and was really looking forward to another piece of Plath‘s prose. The first work of fiction that she tried to have published, it was rejected by several publishers. It‘s not hard to see why - the writing is very simplistic and juvenile; not what one would expect from later Plath. The story is intriguing though, and I wish it could have been followed up. 3.5/5.0 #2019

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Branwen
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I am so freaking excited, guys. I have in my hands a previously unpublished Sylvia Plath short story! She wrote in 1952 when she was still at Smith College and it just was finally published for the first time this month! Be still my heart! 😍💕📚

TrishB I‘m waiting for the hardcover edition next month 😁 5mo
Branwen @TrishB Sweet! Isn't this so exciting that we're getting a brand new Plath story?! I can't even handle it! 🤗 5mo
TrishB It‘s fab 😁 5mo
batsy It's such a lovely edition! 5mo
Leftcoastzen I‘ve had my eye on that! 5mo
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JennyM
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Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom was written by Sylvia Plath in 1952, when she was a student at Smith College. First published today as part of Faber Stories.

Saw this on Twitter and instantly thought of you both.
@TrishB @Kalalalatja

Kalalalatja It sounds amazing! Thanks for tagging me 🙌 6mo
TrishB Ohhh thank you! I‘m going to wait for the hardback one released next month 😁❤️ 6mo
emilyhaldi Cool! 6mo
JennyM @emilyhaldi @trishb @Kalalalatja I‘ve never heard of it before. I think the hardback version will be just beautiful 6mo
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ValerieAndBooks
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Wow, this excerpt in today‘s WSJ of a previously unpublished short story by Sylvia Plath left me wanting more! It‘ll be available for purchase in February 2019.

kspenmoll Thanks for heads up! 6mo
MatchlessMarie @RowReads1 Amazing! It's like she left a treasure chest behind and they keep finding more! 6mo
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Jess_Read_This
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The Wall Street Journal has an excerpt from this... it‘s positively gripping! I need to get a copy because the end of the essay left me hanging. I need answers!

Has anyone read this? Would love to hear your thoughts, Plath fans!
Edit: aaaaand after searching, I see it won‘t be released til February 2019.

batsy I'm very excited about this 💜 6mo
Jess_Read_This @batsy Me too! That essay had me at the edge of my seat in total suspenseful wondering what was happening on the train. 6mo
elkeo_TheBookDragon Oo - I need to look into this... 6mo
Jess_Read_This @elkeo Did you get a chance to read the blurb in the WSJ? I loved seeing Plath‘s name in print next to a current date. For some reason that just thrilled me. 6mo
elkeo_TheBookDragon I‘m going to google it now! You are right - very cool to see her with a current date! 6mo
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