Smile Please. Jean Rhys.

Smile Please. An Unfinished Autobiography

London: Andre Deutsch, 1979. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's red cloth, spine gilt, original photo-illustrated dust jacket.

"I would never be part of anything. I would never really belong anywhere, and I knew it, and all my life would be the same, trying to belong, and failing. Always something would go wrong. I am a stranger and I always will be, and after all I didn’t really care." First edition of resident literary sad woman Jean Rhys's posthumously published memoir. Although Rhys had toyed with the idea of writing an autobiography for the majority of her career, she was initially hesitant, as she felt her life had been "used up in her novels," and found it difficult to attempt a strictly factual account. With encouragement, Rhys started the project later in life, but unfortunately died while still in the process in 1979. Although the reader is only accorded her life story up until her initial time in Paris with her first husband, her recollections, dolorous vignettes, and quintessential commentary on degradation, alienation, and estrangement parallels and adds dimension to her body of fiction (Good Morning, Midnight, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie, etc.). Foreword by British literary editor, novelist and memoirist Diana Athill. Eight-page insert of black-and-white photos. Fine in price-clipped dust jacket, with publisher's price sticker to upper flap. Item #2476


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