Get Fast, Free Shipping with Amazon Prime & FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. You can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition: no shipping charges
  • Learn more about free returns.
How to return the item?
FREE delivery:
Get free shipping
Free shipping within the U.S. when you order $25.00 of eligible items shipped by Amazon.
Or get faster shipping on this item starting at $5.99 . (Prices may vary for AK and HI.)
Learn more about free shipping
Thursday, Dec 9 on orders over $25.00 shipped by Amazon. Details
In Stock.
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. Want to listen? Try Audible.
$$9.99 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Price
Subtotal
$$9.99
Subtotal
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Ships from
Amazon.com
Sold by
Amazon.com
Ships from
Amazon.com
Sold by
Amazon.com
Return policy: Returnable until Jan 31, 2022
For the 2021 holiday season, returnable items purchased between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2022
Mary Ventura and the Nint... has been added to your Cart
$3.96 delivery: Dec 9 - 16
Fastest delivery: Dec 8 - 13
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: A used book that may have some cosmetic wear (i.e. shelf-wear, slightly torn or missing dust jacket, dented corner, pages may include limited notes and highlighting)
<Embed>
Other Sellers on Amazon
$4.99
+ $3.99 shipping
Sold by: Justsomedeals
Sold by: Justsomedeals
(4831 ratings)
97% positive over last 12 months
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
$10.42
& FREE Shipping
Sold by: Book Depository US
Sold by: Book Depository US
(917960 ratings)
90% positive over last 12 months
In stock.
Usually ships within 3 to 4 days.
Shipping rates and Return policy
$5.99
+ $4.79 shipping
Sold by: Good Stuff from Brooklyn
Sold by: Good Stuff from Brooklyn
(829 ratings)
96% positive over last 12 months
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Shipping rates and Return policy
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Enter your mobile phone or email address

Processing your request...

By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.

You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.


Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom: A Story Paperback – January 22, 2019

4.5 out of 5 stars 213 ratings

Price
New from Used from
Kindle
Paperback
$9.99
$4.99 $0.94

Enhance your purchase


The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.

Frequently bought together

  • Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom: A Story
  • +
  • The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)
  • +
  • Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Choose items to buy together.

Special offers and product promotions

  • Create your FREE Amazon Business account to save up to 10% with Business-only prices and free shipping.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Plath’s] story is stirring, in sneaky, unexpected ways…Look carefully and there’s a new angle here — on how, and why, we read Plath today.” -- Parul Sehgal, New York Times

From the Back Cover

A newly discovered, never-before-seen story by Sylvia Plath.

Written while Sylvia Plath was a student at Smith College in 1952, Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom tells the story of a young woman’s fateful train journey.

Lips the color of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like “guilt, and guilt, and guilt” are just some of the things Mary Ventura begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom.

“But what is the ninth kingdom?” she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. “It is the kingdom of the frozen will,” comes the reply. “There is no going back.”

Sylvia Plath’s strange, dark tale of female agency and independence, written not long after she herself left home, grapples with mortality in motion.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial; First Edition (January 22, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 64 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 006294083X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062940834
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 0.18 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213 ratings

Audible Holiday Deal
Join Audible Premium Plus for 60% off. Only $5.95 a month for the first 3 months. Get this deal

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. Her books include the poetry collections The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees, Ariel, and The Collected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Plath is credited with being a pioneer of the 20th-century style of writing called confessional poetry. Her poem "Daddy" is one of the best-known examples of this genre.

In 1963, Plath's semi-autobiographic novel The Bell Jar was published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas"; it was reissued in 1966 under her own name. A complete and uncut facsimile edition of Ariel was published in 2004 with her original selection and arrangement of poems. She was married to the poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had a daughter, Frieda, and a son, Nicholas. She died in London in 1963.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
213 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2019
Verified Purchase
27 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2020
Verified Purchase
Customer image
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
By Victoria on September 1, 2020
“ The long black hand of the clock on the wall clipped off another minute. Everywhere there were people running to catch trains.“

This is a tale of mortality and the afterlife. Of a long stay in a purgatory shaped like a train. Of uncertainty and faith.

Everything in the train was red, crimson, scarlet. The seats, a woman’s lips, a cherry at the bottom of a glass. Red being a symbol of evil and desire. A purgatory catered to make you stay. Like the sirens and Odysseus or Percy Jackson at the lotus hotel and casino. There were passengers who did not belong. People who’d escaped some circle of hell. Who would make the trip?

“Mother I can’t go today. I simply can’t. I am not ready to take the trip yet.”

Having another story by Plath is incredible! And one of the afterlife to boot! It’s as if she sent her manuscript all the way from the ninth kingdom. I adored this and wished there was more.

———
Re- read it in 2020. Still love it!! It’s spooky and wonderful and leaves you wanting more. There are so many negative reviews saying this is a sloppy first draft published only for money and I’m like WHAT?! It’s nice to have something from Plath that we didn’t have before. I don’t think it’s poorly written or sloppy at all. It’s different than what we’re used to from Plath, sure, but it’s still incredibly well written.
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2019
Verified Purchase
6 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2019
Verified Purchase
10 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2019
Verified Purchase
5 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2019
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2019
Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

reviewsbychloe
4.0 out of 5 stars Plath has an incredible skill at creating such a complex and atmospheric short story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2020
Verified Purchase
Customer image
4.0 out of 5 stars Plath has an incredible skill at creating such a complex and atmospheric short story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2020
I love jumping to a short story every now and then, I find it refreshes my mind and stops me getting in a reading rut. My latest pick was Sylvia Path's short story that Faber Stories included in their collection last year.

In this extraordinary story Mary steps on a train to complete a journey to where, we're not sure, but her father states "the trip north won't be an ordeal" and her mother comforts her saying "everyone has to leave home sometime", so my mind wonders is she leaving for university, school or a job? Her parents are keen for her to go, so surely it's nothing sinister?!

And yet as I read on, the journey becomes darker and appears to have a more symbolic meaning. Rather than stopping at train stations with names familiar to a particular country, they are named after kingdoms. Some of the passengers are enjoying their trip, others are restless and when the train stops they don't want to get off and are escorted off the train.

I loved how this story made me think of all the possible meanings behind this journey. Is it a nightmare? Is it a journey to the underworld?

Many have interpreted the story as a young girl struggling to control her thoughts and the further she travels in her journey/"her life", the darker they become. It seems like a logical interpretation given Plath's own battle with depression and is reinforced in the story when Mary chooses to fight back and take control of where she will end up. But I keep recalling the opening paragraphs where her parents are pushing her to take the journey, why would they want her to take a journey that could leave her dead? Surely the want to protect her from the darkness? Or is Mary only imagining them pressuring her to take the journey because she feels so isolated from everyone?

Mary sits next to a woman who claims she's done this journey many times and is keen to help Mary, what is Plath symbolising with this mysteriously kind woman, is she Mary's guardian angel?

At 40 pages long, it's remarkable the detail that Plath weaves into this dream-like journey. It locked in my focus with its mystical and dark nature, I was worried for Mary as her hopelessness and desperation intensified the more I read on.

Whilst this story is eerie and left me with heaps of questions when I finished it, I can't help but look at it on my shelf with fondness. Whether it's due to Plath's incredible skill at creating such a complex and atmospheric short story or because it ignited my mind to ponder on its meaning for weeks after... I'm not sure, but I can whole heartedly vouch that this short story is memorable even if it does ruffle your feathers.
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
I. R. Lowell
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast tracking and a journey of discovering self worth!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2020
Verified Purchase
Customer image
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast tracking and a journey of discovering self worth!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2020
Literary critics have been somewhat lukewarm about this short story by Plath, and they may well be right on the skill of word smithing, which Plath was still learning. But the story is engaging and with a mounting horror. A young girl is cajoled by her parents to take a train journey to somewhere she does not know. An older passenger challenges her assumptions about docility and acceptance. The girl has to discover some nerve in herself.
The same critics read into the story the psychology of Plath‘s death wish and a forewarning of her own suicide. That is the danger of reading into rather than reading a story. It is essentially a dialogue a self-discovery, on a fast trajectory of a train heading towards the Ninth Kingdom — “There are no return trips on this line,” the woman said softly. “Once you get to the ninth kingdom, there is no going back. It is the kingdom of negation, of the frozen will. It has many names.” Like the dark night of Dylan Thomas, it needs some fighting spirit to confront it!
It is a piece of its time both in the age of transport in the USA and in the maturity of its author. But it is well worth the reading fir what it is and the questions it leaves unanswered.
Images in this review
Customer image Customer image
Customer imageCustomer image
Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars RA
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 11, 2021
Verified Purchase
Robert Welbourn
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic quick read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2019
Verified Purchase
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and intriguing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 22, 2019
Verified Purchase