Jean Rhys (Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature)

Jean Rhys (Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature)

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Elaine Savory
Cambridge University Press, 1999-03-11
EAN 9780521474344, ISBN10: 0521474345
332 pages, 13.8 x 2.2 x 2.2 cm

Jean Rhys has long been central to debates in feminist, modernist, Caribbean, British and postcolonial writing. Elaine Savory’s study, which incorporates and modifies previous critical approaches, 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.

"...careful assessment of existing scholarship and... creative contribution to that body of work. Strongly recommended for all academic collections." Choice

"...the book is painstakingly researched...and comprehensive in that it covers the entire corpus of published and unpublished work, from early short stories to the late unfinished autobiography...The book, all the more insightful because Savory lived much of her life in the Caribbean, manages to be scholarly yet unstuffy; the writing is fluid and engaging...this is because Savory combines her expertise as a literary critic - her work has appeared in numerous journals which focus on Caribbean and post-colonial literature - with a poet's sensitivity to language." The Caribbean Writer

"Despite the volume of critical work devoted to Jean Rhys, she remains an unplaceable writer. She was a modernist who insisted that she had never read many of her contemporaries...Throughout the book, avory martials extensive archival material in support of her argument, and she usefully emphasizes Rhys's intense professionalism. Rhys revised all of her work extensively, a craftman-like approach that has been too little appreciated by scholars." Studies in the Novel