Friday, June 19, 2009

A Fascinating Life

Over at The Second Pass, Maud Newton reviews a new biography of Jean Rhys:
The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys, a brief biography by Lilian Pizzichini, reads more like a novel than a nonfiction study, and this is no accident. A foreword characterizes the book as “an attempt to recapture her life.” Passages from Rhys’ unfinished autobiography, Smile, Please, are liberally quoted and paraphrased. Conjecture as to her emotional state abounds. At times the clumsy armchair psychoanalysis weighs down the story, giving it the exaggerated sentimentality and cheap pathos of a romance novel, but the material itself is inherently fascinating.


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