Wednesday, April 21, 7:30pm NOTE: This meeting is starting 30 minutes later than usual! The following months will be back to 7:00.
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Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
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.
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.