Voyage in the Dark
|Series:||Penguin Modern Classics|
Eighteen, on her own and independent as much through circumstance as character, Anna has exchanged the West Indies of her childhood for the cold greyness of England, with its narrow streets and narrower rules. As she drifts towards the demi-monde of 1914 London, she comes to realise that life will never be so free and easy again.
'It was as if a curtain had fallen, hiding everything I had ever known,' says Anna Morgan, eighteen years old and catapulted to England from the West Indies after the death of her beloved father. Working as a chorus girl, Anna drifts into the demi-monde of Edwardian London. But there, dismayed by the unfamiliar cold and greyness, she is absolutely alone and unconsciously floating from innocence to harsh experience. Her childish dreams have been replaced by the harsher reality of living in a man's world, where all charity has its price.
Voyage in the Dark was first published in 1934, but it could have been written today. It is the story of an unhappy love affair, a portrait of a hypocritical society, and an exploration of exile and breakdown; all written in Jean Rhys' hauntingly simple and beautiful style. Jean Rhys (1894-1979) was born in Dominica. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before moving to Paris, where she began writing and was 'discovered' by Ford Madox Ford. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful.
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.