I Used to Live Here Once: The Haunted Life of Jean Rhys

I Used to Live Here Once: The Haunted Life of Jean Rhys

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Jean Rhys is one of the most compelling writers of the twentieth century. Memories of her Caribbean girlhood haunt the four short and piercingly brilliant novels that Rhys wrote during her extraordinary years as an exile in 1920s Paris and later in England, a body of fiction--above all, the extraordinary Wide Sargasso Sea--that has a passionate following today. And yet her own colorful life, including her early years on the Caribbean island of Dominica, remains too little explored, until now.

In I Used to Live Here Once, Miranda Seymour sheds new light on the artist whose proud and fiercely solitary life profoundly informed her writing. Rhys experienced tragedy and extreme poverty, alcohol and drug dependency, romantic and sexual turmoil, all of which contributed to the "Rhys woman" of her oeuvre. Today, readers still intuitively relate to her unforgettable characters, vulnerable, watchful, and often alarmingly disaster-prone outsiders; women with a different way of moving through the world. And yet, while her works often contain autobiographical material, Rhys herself was never a victim. The figure who emerges for Seymour is cultured, self-mocking, unpredictable--and shockingly contemporary.

Based on new research in the Caribbean, a wealth of never-before-seen papers, journals, letters, and photographs, and interviews with those who knew Rhys, I Used to Live Here Once is a luminous and penetrating portrait of a fascinatingly elusive artist.



Author: Miranda Seymour
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published: 06/28/2022
Pages: 448
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.65lbs
Size: 9.00h x 6.27w x 1.25d
ISBN: 9781324006121

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 01/01/2022 pg. 23
Publishers Weekly 04/25/2022
Kirkus Reviews 05/01/2022
Library Journal 05/06/2022 pg. 1
Booklist 06/01/2022 pg. 20