Neglected and forgotten for many years, the arresting, elliptical novels written by the Domenican-born Jean Rhys are now widely acclaimed. Her last and most famous novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, her retelling of Jane Eyre, is a central text for the imaginative re-examination of gender and colonial power relations. Helen Carr's account draws on both recent feminist and post-colonial theory, and places Rhys's work in relation to modernist and postmodernist writing. Whilst all Rhys's novels are autobiographical, it is a mistake, Carr argues, to see them simply in individual terms: Rhys uses the material of her own life to structure a devastating critique of the greed and cruelty of the Establishment world, both of Europe and of Empire. This new edition considers the growing body of critical appreciation of Jean Rhys.
Helen Carr is Reader in English at Goldsmith's College, University of London. She is co-editor of Women: a Cultural Review and was a founder-editor of Women's Review. She has written widely on literature and anthropology from a feminist and post-colonial viewpoint.