“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” – Jean Rhys
August 24, 1890 – May 14, 1979
Jean Rhys was born Ella Gwendoline Rees Williams in Dominica on August 24, 1890. She is best know for her novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, published in 1966.
“Our garden was large and beautiful as that garden in the Bible – the tree of life grew there. But it had gone wild. The paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as a forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach for some reason not to be touched. One was snaky looking, another like an octopus with long thin brown tentacles bare of leaves hanging from a twisted root. Twice a year the octopus orchid flowered – then not an inch of tentacle showed. It was a bell-shaped mass of white, mauve, deep purples, wonderful to see. The scent was very sweet and strong. I never went near it.” – from Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys
“Places on Dominica Associated with Jean Rhys” (compiled by Lennox Honychurch)
Rhys shares her birthdate with Jorge Luis Borges (1899), A. S. Byatt (1936), Paul Coelho (1947), and Oscar Hijuelos (1951).