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Letters 1931-1966

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4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In her will, Jean Rhys expressed a wish that no biography should be written unless authorized during her lifetime. Following her death, her literary executor was approached frequently with requests for permission to write "an official life". Finally he decided that, by compiling a volume of letters, authentic biographical information would be provided. But as the ...more
Paperback, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics, 313 pages
Published 1985 by Penguin (first published 1984)
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C.S. Burrough
Jun 23, 2014 C.S. Burrough rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All fans
I was bought this as a birthday gift by someone who knew my fanaticism for Jean Rhys. This intimate glimpse into the personal comments of my all time favourite writer had me mesmerised from start to finish.

The letters include those from 1931, when she was recently divorced from her first husband French-Dutch journalist-songwriter (and spy) Jean Lenglet. Jean was still enjoying the acclaim of her first three books, The Left Bank and Other Stories (1927) Postures/Quartet (1929) and After Leaving M
...more
Ruth
Jun 27, 2016 Ruth rated it liked it
I don't read many biographies, diaries, etc. and I don't think I've ever attempted a collection of letters before. I read to half way, but I don't think letters are meant to be read like this, all in one go. In real life there were gaps of a few months between Jean Rhys' letters to her friends and her daughter, but reading them in book form, they become very samey: Rhys moaning about the cold weather and how much she dislikes England. However, there is some interesting correspondence regarding ...more
James Haliburton
Jul 31, 2011 James Haliburton rated it it was amazing
An almost unbearable insight into the personal circumstances of Jean Rhys during the many years she took to write 'Wide Sargasso Sea'; at times the repetitive reports on her poor health and desperate financial situation make it hard to understand how she was able to write such a work of genius. Despite the gloom and doom her writing style, even in short notes to her grand-daughter, shines through. A worthy companion piece to Virginia Woolf's 'A Room Of One's Own'.
Rachel
Dec 05, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The first hundred or so pages of this book put me into such hysteria, I have to give it all the stars. The latter bits not quite as stimulating— but still!

I'm lazy and hopeless Peggy but honestly I do have a rum time.
Christina
Oct 27, 2009 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, borrowed
Whew. I'm still waiting for Wide Sargasso Sea from my library, so I can't comment on her official writing, but what a negative negative woman. I only got through one quarter of the book and had to stop. So many people were kind to her and she couldn't see it.
Ania
Apr 09, 2009 Ania rated it liked it
good.
but you have to be really interested in her to read it, there's a lot of repetition in the letters.poor soul.
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Jun 11, 2008 Stephanie rated it liked it
An intimate view into an absolutely amazing author full round
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25022
Jean Rhys, originally Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, was a Caribbean novelist who wrote in the mid 20th century. Her first four novels were published during the 1920s and 1930s, 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 Brontë's Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea won a prestigious WH Smith Literary Award ...more
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