Jean Rhys

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Cambridge University Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 306 pages
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Jean Rhys has long been central to debates in feminist, modernist, Caribbean, British and postcolonial writing. Elaine Savory's study, first published in 1999, incorporates and modifies previous critical approaches and is a critical reading of Rhys's entire oeuvre, including the stories and autobiography, and is informed by Rhys's own manuscripts. Designed both for the serious scholar on Rhys and those unfamiliar with her writing, Savory's book insists on the importance of a Caribbean-centred approach to Rhys, and shows how this context profoundly affects her literary style. Informed by contemporary arguments on race, gender, class and nationality, Savory explores Rhys's stylistic innovations - her use of colours, her exploitation of the trope of performance, her experiments with creative non-fiction and her incorporation of the metaphysical into her texts. This study offers a comprehensive account of the life and work of this most complex and enigmatic of writers.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER 1 Living on both sides living to write
1
The Left Bank and Quartet
36
CHAPTER 3 A Caribbean woman lost in Europe? After Leaving Mr MacKenzie and the question of gender
57
Voyage in the Dark and the politics of colour
85
Good Morning Midnight
109
spatial arrangements in Wide Sargasso Sea
133
Rhys and the craft of the short story
152
the theatre of autobiography and the role of the personal essay
177
cultural politics and Jean Rhys criticism
196
Notes
226
Bibliography
271
Index
297
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About the author (1998)

Elaine Savory is Associate Professor of English at the New School University.

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