In this Reader's Guide, Carl Plasa provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the most stimulating critical responses to Wide Sargasso Sea. The opening chapter outlines initial reactions to the novel from English and Caribbean critics, charting the differences between them. Chapter Two explores Wide Sargasso Sea's dialogue with Jane Eyre and the theoretical questions it has raised. Succeeding chapters examine how critics have assessed the racial politics of Rhys's text, discuss the novel's African Caribbean cultural legacy, and explore how critics read the work both in terms of its moment of production and the early Victorian period in which it is set. Throughout, Plasa contextualizes and clarifies the critical exchanges which this daring and dramatic novel has provoked.