Lorna Scott Fox writes:
Moser’s fascinating and intricate biography tries to wrest Lispector from feminists like Hélène Cixous (who celebrated her plotless, fluid, subjective allegories as a model of ‘écriture féminine’). According to Moser, the destiny of Chaya Pinkhasovna Lispector, born in Chechelnik, western Ukraine in 1920, was inscribed in the circumstances of her birth. Her mother, who had two daughters already, contracted syphilis after being raped by Russian soldiers at the height of the pogroms; Clarice was conceived in the belief that pregnancy would act as a cure. ‘Except I didn’t cure my mother. And to this day that guilt weighs on me.’ Ten years later the child tried, consciously now, to save her mother by writing little plays and stories which she hoped would have a healing magic. And for the rest of her life she continued to write ‘as if to save somebody’s life. Probably my own’, as she wrote shortly before her death.