"There were twelve of us at the hotel. We had all won a fashion magazine contest"

Here, the experience of the narrator of The Bell Jar reflects Sylvia Plath's own experience of winning a guest editorship with Mademoiselle magazine from June 1 - June 26, 1953 (although Plath was one of twenty guest-editors, not one of twelve)

Tennessee Williams
Public DomainTennessee Williams - Credit: Orland Fernandez
Truman Capote, 1959
Public DomainTruman Capote, 1959 - Credit: Roger Higgins

Mademoiselle magazine was a fashion and beauty magazine for women, which was also renowned for publishing short stories by well known writers such as Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. It was first published in 1935 and ceased publication in 2001, at which point some of its staff, and some of its features, transferred to Glamour magazine.