Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

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In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Bertha is the madwoman locked in the attic by her husband Rochester, the simmering Englishman whose children Jane has been hired to tutor. In Bronte's novel we learn little about Bertha other than that she's a monster who must be bound with rope, a white woman from the Caribbean whom Rochester was long ago pressured into marrying for her money. But Rhys, who grew up in the French Caribbean colony of Dominica, presses on the silences in Bronte to give Bertha her own story. Caliban does not become Ariel here, but Rhys turns a menacing cipher into a grieving, plausible young woman, and one whose story says whole worlds about global mixtures, about the misunderstandings between the colonized, the colonizers and the people who can't easily say which they are.—R.L.

- Time

The 274th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 13th on 100 Best Novels in English Since 1900 (Counterpunch)
  2. - 53rd on Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century (themodernnovel.com)
  3. - 53rd on The 100 Greatest British Novels (BBC)
  4. - 79th on The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read (Telegraph)
  5. - 81st on Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels (Radcliffe Publishing Course)
  6. - 94th on The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels (Modern Library)
  7. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  8. - The Best Classics (The Times)

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