Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before starting to write in the late 1920's. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their timeand only modestly successful. Partly autobiographical, VOYAGE IN THE DARK was first published in 1934. From 1939 she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with 'Wide Sargasso Sea' in 1966. She died in 1979.
Prescient and technically astonishing -- Geoff Dyer * GQ *
The kind of book you want to stand up and applaud -- Caryl Phillips
Every so often someone comes along whose prose style is so alert and fresh, so remote from the mainstream idiom of English social fiction that is seems miraculous that they should be able to write like that and be British too. Jean Rhys is such a writer -- Jonathan Raban
[Jean Rhys's novels] have the quality of the best books by seeming to have written themselves, and reading them one flinches at truth after truth -- Howard Moss * The New Yorker *