'There was nothing of the blond beast about the gigolo - he was dark, slim, beautiful as some Latin god. And how soft his eyes were, how sweet his mouth ...Horrible, horrible gigolo'. These four haunting stories from the author of "Wide Sargasso Sea" capture moments in the lives of European dilettantes, ingenues, businessmen, soldiers and artists at a time when the world was enjoying freedom after war. But with freedom comes the greater opportunity for self-destruction, and Rhys is at her redolent best when writing about the desires of people striving unsuccessfully after happiness. This book contains "La Grosse Fifi", "Vienne", "Tea with an Artist", and "Mixing Cocktails". They are all taken from a selection from The Left Bank in Penguin's edition of "Tigers Are Better Looking".
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. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 onwards she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with 'Wide Sargasso Sea' in 1966. She died in 1979.