The Left Bank and Other Stories

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The Left Bank and Other Stories is the first collection of short stories and literary debut of Dominican author Jean Rhys. It was first published by Jonathan Cape (London) and Harper & Brothers (New York) in 1927, and contained an introduction by Ford Madox Ford. The original subtitle of the collection was "sketches and studies of present-day Bohemian Paris." [1] [2]


Most of the twenty-two stories are impressionistic vignettes based on Rhys's own life experiences in and around the Left Bank of Paris. Some (Mixing Cocktails and Again the Antilles) are drawn from Rhys's early years in Dominica. [3] The final story, Vienne, is based on her post-World War I life in Vienna with first husband Jean Lenglet, and was originally published in The Transatlantic Review in 1924. [4] [5]

Publication of The Left Bank and Other Stories came about as a result of Rhys's lover and literary mentor, Ford Madox Ford, sending the stories to his London contact, influential publisher's reader Edward Garnett. [6] [7] [8] The book was well received by critics on its initial release, establishing Rhys's early writing career. [9]

The book went out of print during Rhys's 1939-1966 period of obscurity but, following the resurgence of her career due to Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), TheLeft Bank collection was republished in part by André Deutsch in Tigers are Better-Looking (1968), which included nine of the original twenty-two stories. [10] The collection was next republished 1976 by W. W. Norton & Company, then again after Rhys's death by Penguin Classics incorporated into a wider compilation entitled Jean Rhys, The Collected Short Stories. [11] [12]

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  1. Rhys, Jean (1927). The left bank, and other stories. London: Jonathan Cape. OCLC   221121811.
  2. Rhys, Jean (1927). The left bank: and other stories. New York; London: Harper & Brothers. OCLC   1132905154.
  3. Midori Saito, The Lost Motherland? Image of the Caribbean in the Early Works of Jean Rhys: Left Bank and Voyage in the Dark, The University of the West Indies, 2004.
  4. Angier, Carole, 1943- (February 2011). Jean Rhys : life and work. London. ISBN   978-0-571-27641-7. OCLC   727028081.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Savory, Elaine. (2009). The Cambridge introduction to Jean Rhys. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN   978-0-511-71960-8. OCLC   611066786.
  6. Pizzichini, Lilian, 1965- (2009). The blue hour : a life of Jean Rhys (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co. ISBN   978-0-393-05803-1. OCLC   283802817.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. Power, Chris (2014-04-14). "A brief survey of the short story: Jean Rhys". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  8. "How Jean Rhys became a writer » Wide Sargasso Sea Study Guide from". Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  9. "Miss Rhys's Short Stories; The Left Bank, and Other Stories. By Jean Rhys. With a Preface by Ford Madox Ford. 256 pp. New York: Harper & Bros. $2. Latest Works Of Fiction". The New York Times. 1927-12-11. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2020-04-24.
  10. Rhys, Jean (1968). Tigers are better-looking. Deutsch. OCLC   656160665.
  11. Rhys, Jean (1976). Jean Rhys; the collected short stories. Norton. OCLC   17966455.
  12. "From rum to gay - British literature". TLS. Retrieved 2020-04-23.

Further reading