Jean Rhys entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Jean Rhys wrote about Jean Rhys. She wrote a number of novels and short stories focusing on her own geographical and emotional alienation, as well as an unfinished autobiography. Her fiction from between the two world ward was largely forgotten when her final novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, brought her major success. After this her novels and short-story collections were translated into many languages, including French, Dutch, Belgian, Swedish, German, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Italian,Yugoslavian, Japanese, Czech, Spanish, and Turkish. Her autobiography was translated into French. Several of her novels and stories have been adapted for radio, film and television.
24 August 1890 Ella Williams (later JR) was born in Roseau, the capital of the island of Dominica, in the West Indies. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
January 1914 After feeling suicidal at Christmas, Ella Williams (later JR) drafted a diary/novel in three and a half black exercise books; it was revised and published two decades later as Voyage in the Dark. Bibliographic Citation link.
1 June 1957 JR signed a publishing contract with Deutsch for her fifth and final novel, Wide Sargasso Sea; she did not complete the book for nine torturous years. Bibliographic Citation link.
27 October 1966 JR published her final, groundbreaking novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, in part a retelling of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Bibliographic Citation link.
14 May 1979 JR died peacefully in hospital in Dorset. Bibliographic Citation link.
15 November 1979 JR's Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography appeared posthumously, edited by Diana Athill: she completed the section on her childhood in Dominica, but not that on her adult life in England and France. Bibliographic Citation link.
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