• Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz

  • The Rebellion of Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton
  • By: Gail Crowther
  • Narrated by: Imani Jade Powers
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz  By  cover art

Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz

By: Gail Crowther
Narrated by: Imani Jade Powers
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Publisher's Summary

In this vividly rendered and empathetic biography of two of the greatest poets of the 20th century - Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton - “the friendship and rivalry that the pair shared - not to mention the titular cocktails at a Boston hotel - is explored in fascinating detail” (Town & Country).

Introduced at a poetry workshop in Boston University, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton formed a friendship that would soon evolve into a fierce rivalry, colored by jealousy and respect in equal terms.

In the years that followed, these two women would not only become iconic figures in literature, but also lead curiously parallel lives haunted by mental illness, suicide attempts, self-doubt, and difficult personal relationships. With weekly martini meetings at the Ritz to discuss everything from sex to suicide, theirs was a relationship as complex and subversive as their poetry. 

Based on in-depth research and unprecedented archival access, Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz will leave you “hungering for more of what these two literary comets burned with: the power of a little poetry. Deliriously fast-paced and erudite, this is highly recommended” (Library Journal, starred review).

©2021 Gail Crowther. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz

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  • J.
  • 07-04-21

Good Dual Bio

The book itself was good. I have read a lot about Plath and a few books on Sexton, but as a dual biography, certain aspects of the shared, but different histories of both women were highlighted for me.

I was excited to start listening but the narration was consistently misguided. First off, it felt like every sentence was a performance, which did not fit the content. The good part of that was it was not monotone, so I continued listening. Mispronounced words and names were not frequent but the same ones were off each time. The most obvious was three pronunciation variations of Adrienne Rich’s first name.

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eye opening

without reading a thousand page biography for each author. you completely understand how and what and so many questions get answered. you understand how the pressure of society okaysd into there lives. i kove this audiobook.

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Poetry is not activism

These are two great poets with beautiful , difficult lives in 1950s America. Bringing them into the gauntlet of activism is a mistake. Poetry stands unafraid on its own without the cries of activism and complaint. Great artists are not activists.

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  • Jane E
  • 11-25-21

Interesting comparative biographies of Plath & Sexton

Enjoyed the info but overall I found the reading style monotonous, and sometimes strangely inflected.