Jean Rhys

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Rhys, Jean

(rēs), pseud. of

Ella Gwendoline Rees Williams,

1894–1979, English novelist, b. Dominica. Her novels written in the 1930s mercilessly exploit her own emotional life, depicting pretty, no-longer-young women who find themselves down and out in large European cities. Without work or funds, her characters must depend on men, chance encounters, or former lovers, for money to buy a hotel room, a drink, a pair of gloves. Rhys's vision is uncompromising and her literary style is spare. These early works include Quartet (1929), After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie (1931), and Good Morning, Midnight (1938). After a long retirement she published her masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), which drew equally on her own Caribbean childhood and on a reimagining of Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre from the perspective of Rochester's mad West Indian wife. It was followed by three short-story collections and Smile Please (1979), the first volume of an autobiography.


See biographies by C. Angier (1990) and L. Pizzichini (2009); F. Wyndham and D. Melly, ed., The Letters of Jean Rhys (1984); studies by T. Staley (1979), P. Wolfe (1980), D. Plante (1983), T. F. O'Connor (1986), N. R. Harrison (1988), M. L. Emery (1990), P. M. Frickey, ed. (1990), P. Le Gallez (1990), C. A. and D. Malcolm (1996), S. Sternlicht (1997), S. Maurel (1998), E. Savory (1998), S. Thomas (1999), C. Dell'Amico (2005), A. B. Simpson (2005), and C. Maslen (2009).

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This other glimpse of her life thus complicates a reading model based on a simplified binary logic of here/there.(14) Jean Rhys's divided identity is far from self-evident: it requires historicization as well as an examination of how she molded it into her fiction.
Jean Rhys's female protagonists uncannily embody Woolf's
The chapters on Jean Rhys and Rosamond Lehmann are complementary to each other as they focus on each writer's critique of modern fashion and the way that fashion shapes their own self-styling as successful, young, modern writers during the twenties.
Plante describes Jean Rhys, Sonia Orwell, and Germaine Greer lovingly, without condemnation.
Wakefield notices how these Neo-Victorian texts regard the affair between Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester as their main focus of attention, and even though they portray the character of Bertha Mason in a pitiful way in comparison with Bronte's original text, they still tend to silence her, thus paying no heed to the centrality that early Neo-Victorian adaptations, such as Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, had attached to Rochester's first wife.
xvi) championed by Gyssels, bringing together five Francophone and Anglophone writers: Jean Rhys from Dominica, Merle Hodge from Trinidad, Gisele Pineau from Guadeloupe, Patrick Chamoiseau from Martinique, and Michelle Cliff from Jamaica.
I FOUND, when I was a child, that if I could put the hurt into words, it would go, Jean Rhys wrote.
In Jean Rhys' 1966 novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, the characters Antoinette Cosway and Christophine use magic to fight back against a colonizing force.
Abstract: "'Haunted and Obeah': Gothic Spaces and Monstrous Landscapes in Jean Rhys's Voyage in the Dark" Born in Dominica to a Welsh father and a mother of Creole descent, Jean Rhys's identity as a white Creole expatriate endows her novels with a sense of profound alienation, especially from the landscape.
"Patrick deWitt cites as inspiration a variety of writers, including Thomas Bernhard, Italo Calvino, Roald Dahl, Shirley Jackson and Jean Rhys. This tells us something important about his intent....
I was thankful for credible treatments of Richard Ford, Jean Rhys, Michael Chabon, and J.