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Wide Sargasso Sea (Paperback)
A prequel to Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea is Jean Rhys' feminist and postcolonial critique of that famous Victorian novel. It tells the story of the Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway before her marriage to Mr. Rochester, before her journey to England, before her renaming, and before her title as "madwoman in the attic." I've read it three or four times and love it more with each rereading.— From Sophie
This “tour de force” (New York Times Book Review) celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Wide Sargasso Sea, a masterpiece of modern fiction, was Jean Rhys’s return to the literary center stage. She had a startling early career and was known for her extraordinary prose and haunting women characters. With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fiction’s most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. This mesmerizing work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
A new introduction by the award-winning Edwidge Danticat, author most recently of Claire of the Sea Light, expresses the enduring importance of this work. Drawing on her own Caribbean background, she illuminates the setting’s impact on Rhys and her astonishing work.
About the Author
Jean Rhys (1890–1979), one of the foremost writers of the twentieth century, is the author of Wide Sargasso Sea—her last and best-known novel—as well as After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie, Voyage in the Dark, and Good Morning, Midnight, all available in Norton paperback.
A considerable tour de force by any standard… A triumph
— New York Times Book Review
The distillation of [Rhys's] life and craft… Nowhere is her prose
more supple, more assured.
— Sara Paretsky - “You Must Read This,” NPR
Working a stylistic range from moody introspection to formal
elegance, Miss Rhys has us traveling under Antoinette’s
skin. It is an eerie and memorable trip.
— The Nation