Award-winning writer Caryl Phillips presents a beautiful, heart-breaking novel of the life of Jean Rhys, author of Wide Sargasso Sea.
‘[A] remarkable novel… The story of a troubled young woman trying to make her way in England during the early years of the twentieth century’ WILLIAM BOYD
In the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, Gwendolen – not yet truly famous as the writer ‘Jean Rhys’ – is presented with the opportunity she has been waiting for. Her husband has received an unexpected inheritance; she can, at last, return to the island of her childhood.
For Gwendolen, Dominica is a place of freedom and beauty, far away from the lonely nights and failed dreams of England. But this visit home compels her to reflect on the events of her past, and on what they may mean for her future.
‘Phillips’ novel of being and becoming, of memory, and the mythology of writers and writing is a wonder. This is a gift of a book’ Niven Govinden, author of All the Days and Nights
‘This dark, glimmering beauty of a novel penetrates the English mist, illuminates the past and present and offers us the life of a great writer, in the heart and mind of this great writer, Caryl Phillips’ Amy Bloom, author of White Houses
‘Subtle and piercing… Phillips keeps on taking risks and telling powerful stories’ Times Literary Supplement
"Remarkable… The story of a troubled young woman trying to make her way in England during the early years of the twentieth century... A novel of acute psychological empathy and understanding"
"A richly atmospheric tale with a bleak glimpse of the empire"
"A View of the Empire at Sunset is a sympathetic and powerful portrait of an outcast…as well as a searing indictment of the empire"
"[Phillips is] a lyrical, transporting stylist and his focus on Gwen’s displacement has profound thematic resonance"
"A View of the Empire at Sunset quietly but powerfully articulates the social and global forces that shaped such a woman"