Sylvia Plath’s recently discovered short story, “Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom,’’ will be published Jan. 22, a week later than originally planned. The date was pushed back due to a printing delay, according to a HarperCollins spokesperson.
Plath completed the story in December 1952 while studying at Smith College in Northampton. Archivist Judith Glazer-Raymo, who specializes in the works of Plath, recently unearthed the story, according to the publishing house.
Glazer-Raymo brought the story to London-based Faber and Faber, the agent for Plath’s daughter, Frieda Hughes, and Plath’s estate. Hughes reportedly hadn’t even known that the story existed. Plath, who was born Boston, wrote the story when she was 20.
“I was completely captivated by this previously unknown story of Sylvia Plath, and especially moved to read a unique and original piece of fiction written by the iconic poet when she was only 20 years old,’’ Terry Karten, the person who negotiated the sale to HarperCollins, said in a statement. “I’m convinced that Plath’s rebellion against convention and her struggle to forcefully seize control of her own fate, so vividly portrayed in this mesmerizing tale, will speak eloquently to readers today.’’
Plath authored “The Bell Jar’’ and “The Colossus’’ prior to her suicide at age 30. A number of collections of her work have been published since her death.
“‘Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom’ is like a previous time capsule suddenly arrived from the past and confirming that Sylvia Plath continues to be more relevant than ever,’’ Karten said.