Author(s): Jean Rhys; Katie Owen (Foreword by)
Living in Paris with her reckless, vagabond husband Stephan, Marya is very near to being happy. She enjoys their hap-hazard existence, never questioning how he lives, never wanting to know the truth. When Stephan is suddenly imprisoned she is left penniless and alone. Taken up by a sophisticated English couple, the Heidlers, who gradually overwhelm her with their own desires, Marya finds her sense of reality slipping further and further away.
Set against a background of winter-wet streets and smoke-filled cafes, Jean Rhys's first novel is both poignant and disturbingly intimate in its vivid depiction of a woman on her own.
Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before starting to write in Paris in the late 1920's. QUARTET was first published as 'Postures' in 1928. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogsout to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with 'Wide Sargasso Sea' in 1966. She died in 1979.