- 8,49 €
Description de l’éditeur
Award-winning writer Caryl Phillips presents a beautiful, heart-breaking novel of the life of Jean Rhys, author of Wide Sargasso Sea.
‘[A] remarkable novel… The story of a troubled young woman trying to make her way in England during the early years of the twentieth century’ WILLIAM BOYD
In the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, Gwendolen – not yet truly famous as the writer ‘Jean Rhys’ – is presented with the opportunity she has been waiting for. Her husband has received an unexpected inheritance; she can, at last, return to the island of her childhood.
For Gwendolen, Dominica is a place of freedom and beauty, far away from the lonely nights and failed dreams of England. But this visit home compels her to reflect on the events of her past, and on what they may mean for her future.
‘Phillips’ novel of being and becoming, of memory, and the mythology of writers and writing is a wonder. This is a gift of a book’ Niven Govinden, author of All the Days and Nights
‘This dark, glimmering beauty of a novel penetrates the English mist, illuminates the past and present and offers us the life of a great writer, in the heart and mind of this great writer, Caryl Phillips’ Amy Bloom, author of White Houses
‘Subtle and piercing… Phillips keeps on taking risks and telling powerful stories’ Times Literary Supplement
Following The Lost Child, Phillips's haunting novel centers on the life and work of Jean Rhys, born Ella Gwendolyn Williams and most celebrated for her novel Wide Sargasso Sea. The story opens in 1930s London, as the author and her second husband, Leslie Tilden Smith, plan a voyage to the West Indies. Jean hopes that showing Leslie her birthplace will help him understand her sense of alienation; Leslie wants to soothe his wife's coldness and alcoholic caprice. The trip still pending, Phillips shifts to his protagonist's childhood as the daughter of a Welsh doctor and a Creole mother in the Dominican city of Roseau. Sent from her beloved homeland to England for schooling at 16, the wayward and homesick Gwennie has an incomprehensible accent, "mongrel" looks, and the persistent unease of an outsider. A string of marginal careers and unsatisfactory relationships, two children lost in different ways, and an emerging talent for fiction lead to her meeting with Leslie, an agent who appreciates her writing. Closing the novel and bringing its narrative full circle, the couple's trip to the Caribbean is in equal measure revelatory and futile. The brief vignettes and small, disquieting moments from which Phillips crafts his story push against the epic grandeur its scope suggests. Though Rhys fans might be disappointed by Phillips's decision to depict little of her literary development, they will appreciate the rich echoes of Wide Sargasso Sea, another novel of untamed "misfit" women, colonial wreckage, the West Indies, and the power dynamics of gender and race. Phillips is at his best in this powerful evocation of Rhys's vision, which illuminates both her time and the present.