Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, children's author, and short story author. Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book's protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious student at Smith College who begins to experience a mental breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. The plot parallels Plath's experience interning at Mademoiselle magazine and subsequent mental breakdown and suicide. Plath, along with Anne Sexton, is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry initiated by Robert Lowell and W. D. Snodgrass.