Although Jean Rhys (rees) is now remembered primarily for her novels, her first published book was a collection of short stories, The Left Bank, and Other Stories (1927). As Ford Madox Ford points out in the preface to the collection, Rhys’s heroines are geographically, psychologically, and emotionally of “the Left Bank,” not only of Paris—although Rhys captured the Paris of the 1920’s as well as anyone—but also of all of the cities of the world. They are underdogs, alone, betrayed, on the edge of poverty; they are women in a man’s world.
In addition to The Left Bank, Rhys published two other collections of stories: Tigers Are Better-Looking (1968) and Sleep It Off, Lady (1976). In 1987, The Collected Short Stories brought together her work in this genre. At her death, she left an essentially completed first section of an autobiography with Diana Athill, who had edited Wide Sargasso Sea and Sleep It Off, Lady. Athill published this section and a less complete second section as Smile Please: An Unfinished Autobiography in 1979. A collection of Rhys’s letters was published in 1984.