Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jean Rhys (1890-1979), originally Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, was a novelist, the daughter of a Welsh father and a Creole mother. Her first four novels were published during her twenties and thirties, but it was not until the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966 that she emerged as a significant literary figure. A "prequel" to Charlotte Brontė's Jane Eyre, the book won a prestigious WH Smith Literary Award in 1967.
Born and raised in Dominica (a formerly British island in the Carribean), Rhys moved to England at the age of sixteen, where she worked unsuccessfully as a chorus girl. In the 1920s, she relocated to Europe, traveling as a Bohemian artist and taking up residence sporadically in Paris. During this period, Rhys lived in near poverty, while familiarizing herself with modern art and literature, and acquiring the alcoholism that would persist through the rest of her life. Her experience of a patriarchal society and feelings of displacement during this period would form some of the most important themes in her work.
Her works often center on the lives of women transplanted from their roots and left to die at the whims of unfamiliar societies--an obvious echo of her own life. Her style is often noted for its distinctive blend of modernist techniques and West Indian sensibilities.
The Left Bank and Other Stories , 1927
Postures , 1928 (released as Quartet in 1929)
After Leaving Mr Mackenzie , 1931
Voyage in the Dark , 1934
Good Morning, Midnight , 1939
Wide Sargasso Sea, 1966
Tigers Are Better-Looking, with a Selection from the Left Bank , 1968
Penguin Modern Stories 1 , 1969 (with others)
Sleep It Off, Lady , 1976
Jean Rhys Letters 1931-1966 , 1984
Early Novels , 1984
The Complete Novels , 1985
Tales of the Wide Caribbean , 1985
The Collected Short Stories , 1987
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