Sylvia Plath And William Faulkner Both Wrote Children's Stories
via Birmingham City University
Poet and author Sylvia Plath is mostly known for her classic novel The Bell Jar, a deeply personal story of a woman's crippling depression that mirrored Plath's own life. William Faulkner, on the other hand, preferred to depress the hell out of his audience with rich, multifaceted narratives like The Sound And The Fury. Either way, they're not the kind of authors whose work you would give to kids, unless you were sick of the chipper way your kids kept bouncing around the house.
Carl Van Vechten
"Now they're sitting on the bed and staring at the wall, silently. Perfect!"
But They Also Did:
In 1927, Faulkner wrote a touching little book called The Wishing Tree, as a personal gift to Victoria Franklin, the 8-year-old daughter of a close friend. The story is about a young girl going on a magical quest and learning to use the power of wishes wisely, and at no point does anybody drown themselves or embezzle money.
Then he gave it as a personal gift to another child. Then another, because free books don't pay for bourbon.
Plath's book The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit was written shortly before the birth of her first child, in 1959. The book tells the lighthearted story of a boy who gets a special bright yellow suit that allows him to be carefree and ignore other people's bullshit.
St Martins Press
We just use our birthday suits.
The book, which wasn't actually published until 1996, can be seen as an allegory for how to cope with depression and anxiety, something that Plath had to struggle with every day. Or, it might be a secret origin story for The Man In The Yellow Hat from Curious George, because that dude dresses like a '70s pimp and owns a pet monkey -- he plainly doesn't give a fuck about pretty much anything.
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop-culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
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Also check out 5 Insane Children's Books That Will Ruin Your Child and 5 Classic Children's Books With Horrible Hidden Messages.