SLEEP IT OFF LADY by Jean Rhys

SLEEP IT OFF LADY

Stories By Jean Rhys
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a more incidental collection of short stories than Tigers Are Better Looking (1974) while still retaining the disconsolate allure of everything Jean Rhys has written. These sketches move, as she did, from the West Indies of her childhood to England (boarding school first, the war years later) where the sky was "the color of no hope," to Montparnasse and back. The West Indian stories are the most clearly externalized: an Englishman goes out in the noonday sun--starkers; a nun resists a Bishop and has a Pyrrhic victory; a white man's trial airs all kinds of divisiveness, personal as well as racial. But whether it's a young girl away from home, or a single woman always unattached, or an old one in a cottage or convalescent home, they are mutations of the dispossessed who "belong nowhere, nothing belongs to them." (Be sure to read "Rapunzel, Rapunzel" and the title story.) In all her books, you have met these strays--shabby, frightened, lonely people "out of love with life." A force mineure, but how insistently, inductively, Jean Rhys makes herself felt in the small hours of the morning or at the fag end of the day.
Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1976
ISBN: 0140183450
Page count: 175pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1976




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