Good Morning, Midnight

Good Morning, Midnight

Paperback

By (author) Jean Rhys, Introduction by A. L. Kennedy

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 18mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 3 August 2000
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141183934
  • ISBN 13: 9780141183930
  • Sales rank: 19,431

Product description

An unforgettable portrait of a woman bravely confronting loneliness and despair in her quest for self-determination, Jean Rhys' "Good Morning Midnight" includes an introduction by A.L. Kennedy in "Penguin Modern Classics". In 1930s Paris, where one cheap hotel room is very like another, a young woman is teaching herself indifference. She has escaped personal tragedy and has come to France to find courage and seek independence. She tells herself to expect nothing, especially not kindness, least of all from men. Tomorrow, she resolves, she will dye her hair blonde. Jean Rhys was a talent before her time with an impressive ability to express the anguish of young, single women. In "Good Morning, Midnight" Rhys created the powerfully modern portrait of Sophia Jansen, whose emancipation is far more painful and complicated than she could expect, but whose confession is flecked with triumph and elation. One of the most honest and distinctive British novelists of the twentieth century, Jean Rhys wrote about women with perception and sensitivity in an innovative and often controversial way. 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. From 1939 (when "Good Morning, Midnight" was written) onwards she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with her account of Jane Eyre's Bertha Rochester, "Wide Sargasso Sea", in 1966. If you enjoyed "Good Morning Midnight", you might like Rhys' "Voyage in the Dark", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Her eloquence in the language of human sexual transactions is chilling, cynical, and surprisingly moving". (A.L. Kennedy).

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Author information

Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before starting to write in Paris in the late 1920's. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 (when GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT was written) onwards she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with 'Wide Sargasso Sea' in 1966. She died in 1979.

Editorial reviews

"It can be sad, the sun in the afternoon" - the afternoon of a woman of forty-odd who is one of those perpetual transients, living, or really half-living, in London or Paris, shifting from the uneasy retreat to the uncertain possibility, moving from shabby hotel rooms to second class cafes - a Cinzano here, a fine there. Memories (of a scruffy cat she chased to its death; of the too quiet baby she had alone who died) collect like fluffs of dust under the bed; but there are alternatives - she might dye her hair or kill herself, next month. Now, returning to the Paris she once had known under no really happier circumstances, she has random encounters - with one or two Russian emigres, with the man with the lustful eyes she avoids in the hotel, with her "gigolo," a young man escaped from the Foreign Legion who gives her a night of love - hardly - and takes her for a thousand francs. . . . Miss Rhys has always attracted a certain minor cult in England; this mono-montage, originally written in 1939, is to a degree reminiscent of Voyage in the Dark (republished here in 1968) hut it is a much stronger book. Not a word seems out of place although transposed to a time which has seen so many other changes. Perhaps because Jean Rhys is both a supple and fastidious writer who can thread momentary but timeless recognitions through the eye of a needle, however dim the margins of experience with which she deals. Flawlessly. (Kirkus Reviews)