Synopses & Reviews
When Marya Zelli's husband, Stephan, a Polish art smuggler, is arrested, Marya moves in with Heidler, a middle-aged and seemingly respectable art dealer whose wife encourages him to pursue other women as a form of sexual control over him. When Stephan is released from prison and finds out about the affair, he rejects Marya, as does Heidler, who returns to his wife. As in so many of Rhys's novels, "Quartet" is about a woman of sensitivity and imagination who is destroyed by a cold world. This is her first published novel, and it is based on her affair with Ford Madox Ford, who also appears as the eponymous, self-satisfied hypocrite in After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie. (Each member of the real-life "quartet" wrote a novel about it.)
"A terrifying insight and a terrific an almost lurid! passion for stating the case of the underdog." Ford Madox Ford
"Quartet really deserves theattention of serious readers who can bring a compassion to match the author's own to the unanswerable problem of what a woman like Marya, caught as Marya was between the millstones, can do with her body and her soul." New York World
"Miss Rhys must be accredited with high achievement. Not only does she deal with themost complex personalities , exploring the most intimate recesses of their psychology, but she does so with the directness and certitude of the fine artist." New York Times
"This is a short novel. The word 'slight' cannot be used of a work in which so much talent is displayed. Miss Rhys tells her story with the miraculous spontaneity of all her writing, and in the tone of one who keeps calm while reporting a catastrophe." Shirley Hazzard, New York Times Book Review
Now available for the first time in paperback, "Quartet" "belongs to the new tradition in prose, which shuns elaboration for sharpness and intensity of effect" ("New York Times"). A woman, caught in the stranglehold between her lover and his wife, faces a further dilemma when her own husband is released from prison.
The story of a woman on the edge caught in the stranglehold between her lover and his wife. When her husband is released from prison, the situation explodes.
About the Author
Jean Rhys (1890-1979) is the author of Good Morning, Midnight; Voyage in the Dark; After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie; Quartet; and The Collected Short Stories.