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Former Spokane resident's third book getting attention
DIANE MIDDLEBROOK writes books that critics tend to notice.

The former Spokane resident's newest book, "Her Husband: Hughes and Plath, Portrait of a Marriage" (Viking, 361 pages, $25.95), is no different. A look at the relationship between the late Sylvia Plath (dead by suicide at age 30 in 1963) and Ted Hughes (dead of cancer at age 68 in 1998), the book has been reviewed in virtually every major American newspaper and magazine.

Most, though not all, of the reviews have been positive. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times described "Her Husband" as "highly theoretical, highly didactic." Newsweek reviewer Mark Miller called the book "excellent" and said that Middlebrook "illuminates the marriage and the work rather than igniting another debate." Irena Reyn of the Minneapolis Star Tribune said the book "paints a balanced portrait of the Plath-Hughes marriage as a deeply emotional, erotic union and an extraordinarily productive one."

"Her Husband" is Middlebrook's third book. Her first, the critically acclaimed "Anne Sexton: A Biography," was published in 1991. And in 1998, Middlebrook wrote "Suits Me: The Double Life of Billy Tipton" (Houghton Mifflin, 326 pages, $14 paper), which details the curious life of the Spokane entertainer who, though born a woman, lived her life as a man.


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