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Wide Sargasso Sea: A novel (Norton Paperback…

Wide Sargasso Sea: A novel (Norton Paperback Fiction) (original 1966; edition 2010)

by Jean Rhys

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5,139149870 (3.57)549
Title:Wide Sargasso Sea: A novel (Norton Paperback Fiction)
Authors:Jean Rhys
Info:W. W. Norton & Co. (2010), Edition: Re-issue, Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)

  1. 241
    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (aces)
  2. 61
    The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination by Sandra M. Gilbert (Imprinted)
  3. 10
    After Mrs Rochester by Polly Teale (srdr)
    srdr: This brilliant drama illuminates the themes that run through Jean Rhys's life, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Jane Eyre.
  4. 21
    Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica by Zora Neale Hurston (cammykitty)
  5. 00
    Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (Petroglyph)
    Petroglyph: Even though Near to the wild heart was written some twenty years prior to Wide Sargasso Sea, these two share numerous features: the interior monologue, the lyricism, the heroine mostly living inside her skull, the central character who doesn’t see a way out of their mental frustrations with life. Lispector kicked all that up a few notches, but to me these two belong close together on my mental shelves.… (more)
  6. 00
    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: colonialisme
  7. 01
    Blessed Is the Fruit: A Novel by Robert Antoni (IsolaBlue)
  8. 01
    Bug-Jargal by Victor Hugo (Medicinos)
    Medicinos: Bug-Jargal décrit une société antillaise basée sur l'exploitation des esclaves qui éclate lorsque ces derniers se rebellent. La prisonnière des Sargasses décrit une société analogue après la rébellion.
  9. 02
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (GlebtheDancer)
    GlebtheDancer: Dark, foreboding, claustrophobic feel. Self-destruction of central character. Similar prose styles.
  10. 03
    Signed, Mata Hari: A Novel by Yannick Murphy (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Lush depiction of tropics with natives playing important roles, women "bought" and tragic endings

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» See also 549 mentions

English (141)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (146)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
humid, close ( )
  annadanz | Jul 5, 2015 |
Prequel to Jane Eyre. This is the story of how the mad woman came to be in Mr. Rochester's house. An easy read and a good story. ( )
  LJF | Mar 22, 2015 |
I read Jane Eyre recently, so really wanted to read this (it is _so obviously_ the other side of the coin that needs telling). So half of me loved it - it is the other half of the story, it is the sympathetic tale of the bad guy, it is exotic and lyrical. But half of me didn't like it - it is shreds and glimpses, things happening off stage, finding out later about things that happened that were important. Never a strong conclusion, just a nebulous cloud of hints and experiences. ( )
  atreic | Feb 18, 2015 |
Right now, having just finished this, I am giving it 3½ stars. But I need to mull over some thoughts so my rating might change.

My immediate reaction was that I liked the writing, and some of the descriptions were beautiful. I found the story of Antoinette's childhood sad and felt very sorry also for her mother after the fire in which the parrot died and Pierre was fatally injured.

I don't understand why Rochester started calling her Bertha (other than the fact that was her name in Jane Eyre. His character in this I found less believable than that of the women.

I also found the references to the "Emancipation Act" a bit confusing as that reminded me of Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" (which I don't think had effect in Jamaica or anywhere in the West Indes) rather than Britain's 1833 "Slavery Abolition Act" (which did emancipate the slaves in the British West Indes in 1834). However, I did find the descriptions of the various racial tensions fascinating. ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 9, 2015 |
I picked this up for a quick read on a weekend away. I found it quite disturbing in it's depiction of the mistrust between the different cultures. I dare say an accurate portrayal of a time and place. ( )
  HelenBaker | Feb 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Rhysprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashworth, AndreaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyndham, FrancisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did.
'If you are buried under a flamboyant tree,' I said, 'your soul is lifted up when it flowers. Everyone wants that.'
The saints we hear about were all very beautiful and wealthy. All were loved by rich and handsome young men.
Reality might disconcert her, bewilder her, hurt her, but it would not be reality. It would be only a mistake, a misfortune, a wrong path taken, her fixed ideas would never change.
'So between you I often wonder who I am and where is my country and where do I belong and why was I ever born at all.'
'You can pretend for a long time, but one day it all falls away and you are alone.'
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393308804, Paperback)

In 1966 Jean Rhys reemerged after a long silence with a novel called Wide Sargasso Sea. Rhys had enjoyed minor literary success in the 1920s and '30s with a series of evocative novels featuring women protagonists adrift in Europe, verging on poverty, hoping to be saved by men. By the '40s, however, her work was out of fashion, too sad for a world at war. And Rhys herself was often too sad for the world--she was suicidal, alcoholic, troubled by a vast loneliness. She was also a great writer, despite her powerful self-destructive impulses.

Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known--a house with a garden where "the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched."

The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell--that of the madwoman in the attic, Rochester's terrible secret. Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of that locked-up woman, who in the end burns up the house and herself. Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. "I watched her die many times," observes the new husband. "In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty."

Rhys struggled over the book, enduring rejections and revisions, wrestling to bring this ruined woman out of the ashes. The slim volume was finally published when she was 70 years old. The critical adulation that followed, she said, "has come too late." Jean Rhys died a few years later, but with Wide Sargasso Sea she left behind a great legacy, a work of strange, scary loveliness. There has not been a book like it before or since. Believe me, I've been searching. --Emily White

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Beautiful and wealthy Antoinette Cosway's passionate love for an English aristocrat threatens to destroy her idyllic West Indian island existence and her very life.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182857, 0241951550

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