Cover image for Jean Rhys : Wide Sargasso Sea
Title:
Jean Rhys : Wide Sargasso Sea
Author:
Plasa, Carl, 1959-
Publication Information:
Cambridge : Icon Books, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
176 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"A reader's guide to essential criticism"--Cover.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.9 7.0 167098.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description http://www.loc.gov/catdir/description/hol031/2002405946.html
ISBN:
9781840462685
Format :
Book

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PR6035.H96 W5 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

In this Reader's Guide, Carl Plasa provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the most stimulating critical responses to Wide Sargasso Sea. The opening chapter outlines initial reactions to the novel from English and Caribbean critics, charting the differences between them. Chapter Two explores Wide Sargasso Sea's dialogue with Jane Eyre and the theoretical questions it has raised. Succeeding chapters examine how critics have assessed the racial politics of Rhys's text, discuss the novel's African Caribbean cultural legacy, and explore how critics read the work both in terms of its moment of production and the early Victorian period in which it is set. Throughout, Plasa contextualizes and clarifies the critical exchanges which this daring and dramatic novel has provoked.


Author Notes

Jean Rhys, 1890 - 1979 Writer Jean Rhys was born in Roseau, Dominica, West Indies. Her father was a Welsh doctor and her mother was a Dominican Creole. Her heritage deeply influenced her life as well as her writing. At seventeen, her father sent her to England to attend the Perse School, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Unfortunately, she was forced to abandon her studies when her father died.

Rhys worked as a chorus girl and ghostwrote a book on furniture. During World War I, she volunteered in a soldier canteen and, in 1918, worked in a pension office. In 1919, she went to Holland and married the French-Dutch journalist and songwriter Jean Langlet. They had two children, a daughter and a son who died as an infant. She began writing under the patronage of Ford Madox Ford. Her husband was sentenced to prison for illegal financial transactions. Her affair ended badly with Ford, and her marriage ended in divorce. In 1934, she married Leslie Tilden Smith who died in 1945. Two years later, she married Max Hamer who died in 1966. Rhys lived many years in the West Country, most often in great poverty.

In 1927, Rhys' first collection of stories, "The Left Bank and Other Stories," was published. Her first novel, "Quartet" (1928), is considered to be an account of her affair with Ford Madox Ford told through Marya, a young English woman. In "Voyage in the Dark" (1934), the character is a young chorus girl involved with an older lover. She has also written "Good Morning, Midnight" (1939) and "Sleep It Off Lady" (1976) and the internationally acclaimed "Wide Sargasso Sea" (1960).

Rhys was made a CBE in 1978 and received the W.H. Smith Award, the Royal Society of Literature Award and an Arts Council Bursart. Rhys died on May 14, 1979 in Exeter. In the same year, her unfinished autobiography "Smile Please" appeared.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Table of Contents

'A Considerable Tour de Force by Any Standard': Reviews and Early Criticism
'The Creole is of Course the Important One': Rewriting Jane Eyre
'Like Goes to Like': Race and the Politics of Identification
'There is Always the Other Side': African Caribbean Perspectives
'Not Even Much Record': The Place of History