Lover of Unreason
She was a high-voltage beauty with a taste for literature and intrigue. Assia Wevill's exotic looks and seductively feral behavior attracted poet Ted Hughes (she mailed him a single blade of grass suffused with Dior perfume). Their subsequent affair devastated Hughes's marriage to poet Sylvia Plath, hurling her into a depression that ended ultimately with her suicide. 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 herself and her young daughter in 1969. Poems by both Plath and Hughes, excerpted in this book, give a mythical dimension to a tragically flamboyant life.