This week, Slate is excerpting bits from A Reader’s Book of Days: True Tales From the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year by Tom Nissley, out now from Norton.
Today’s excerpt focused on Jean Rhys:
1949 Jean Rhys had fallen out of the literary life since her last novel was published a decade earlier, but not far enough that she didn’t see a notice placed in the New Statesman and Nation on this day: “Jean Rhys (Mrs Tilden Smith) author of Voyage in the Dark, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie, Good Morning, Midnight, etc. Will anyone knowing her whereabouts kindly communicate with Dr H. W. Egli.” Replying to the ad led Rhys to Selma Vaz Dias, Dr. Egli’s wife, who had adapted Good Morning, Midnight for the stage, and who would become a domineering champion of her work through Rhys’s many more years of poverty, drunkenness, illness, and obscurity until late in life—too late, Rhys always said—her novel Wide Sargasso Sea made her a literary celebrity in 1966.
The link above will take you to the excerpts.