Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys, born Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams, was a mid-20th-century novelist from Dominica. She is best known for her novel 'Wide Sargasso Sea' (1966), a prequel to Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre'. Rhys's writing is notable for its portrayal of women caught in a constricting social environment, often exploring themes of exile, loss, and identity. Her work gained prominence in the latter half of the 20th century, contributing significantly to postcolonial literature.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Wide Sargasso Sea

    This novel is a postcolonial prequel to "Jane Eyre," exploring the life of Mr. Rochester's mad wife, Bertha. Set in Jamaica during the 1830s, it follows the story of Antoinette Cosway, a white Creole heiress, from her youth in the Caribbean to her unhappy marriage and move to England. Caught in a society that both rejects and exoticizes her, Antoinette is ultimately driven into madness by her oppressive husband and the haunting legacy of colonialism.

    The 113th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie

    The novel delves into the life of Julia Martin, a woman navigating the complexities of existence on the fringes of 1930s Parisian society. After the end of her relationship with Mr. Mackenzie, Julia faces a bleak and uncertain future. Struggling with financial instability and emotional turmoil, she attempts to reclaim her sense of self and dignity amidst a series of disheartening encounters with men, including her ex-lover, her estranged family, and potential benefactors. The narrative portrays her descent into loneliness and despair, capturing the stark realities of a woman's life marked by vulnerability and the relentless search for survival and identity in an indifferent world.

    The 3462nd Greatest Book of All Time