The Blue Hour: A Portrait of Jean Rhys

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9780747597407: The Blue Hour: A Portrait of Jean Rhys
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Jean Rhys, described by Al Alvarez as 'one of the finest British writers of this century', was an artist of brilliance and fury best known for her late literary masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea. But she was also a woman in constant psychological turmoil, never far from the edge, whose blazing talent rescued her time and time again from the abyss. In The Blue Hour, Lilian Pizzichini enters Rhys's twilit demimonde, starting with her dreamy girlhood in the lush island heat of Dominica and following her vagabond existence from chorus girl to artist's model in cold, inhospitable London, to abandoned wife and hapless mother in bohemian 1920s Paris, through three failed marriages and five misunderstood books to screaming drunk in suburban Beckenham, and finally to feted elderly author who considered her critical acclaim to have 'come too late'. Rhys was made a CBE in 1978, the year before she died. This compelling and heartbreaking biography - the first truly intimate account of Rhys since her unfinished autobiography Smile Please in 1979 - is an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose writing was both her life and her lifeline, and a unique attempt to see the world as Rhys herself saw it: hostile, chaotic, full of flawed humanity and fragile dreams, life experienced through the thinnest of skins.

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Review:

'A wonderful book: exciting and dramatic as narrative, perceptive and original as literary criticism' -- Francis Wyndham

'Extraordinary the way Jean comes to life in this biography, which seems to me to read rather like one of her own novels, as carefully crafted' -- David Plante

'This account of Jean Rhys's life is as near as we are likely to get to how Jean saw it'
-- Diana Melly

'This engrossing account of Jean Rhys's painful life is as near as we are likely to get to how Jean saw it herself'
-- Diana Melly

`A wonderful book: exciting and dramatic as narrative, perceptive and original as literary criticism' -- Francis Wyndham

`Jean Rhys is now recognised as one of the most important 20th-centry writers. This heartbreaking biography opens up her tortured and extraordinary life'
-- Sunday Express

Book Description:

'This engrossing account of Jean Rhys's painful life is as near as we are likely to get to how Jean saw it herself'

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9781408801222: The Blue Hour: A Portrait of Jean Rhys (Bloomsbury Lives of Women)

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ISBN 10:  1408801221 ISBN 13:  9781408801222
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2010
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