Author of the Month: Clarice Lispector

Our Author of the Month for May is the novelist, short story writer and essayist Clarice Lispector. Born in Ukraine in 1920, Lispector, displaced with her family by the turmoil of the Russian Civil War and its aftermath, grew up in Brazil, and became one of that country’s most celebrated writers.

Her first novel Near to the Wild Heart was published when she was just 23; its uncompromising modernist style, written as an interior monologue and unique at that time in Brazilian literature, brought her immediate acclaim both at home and abroad. Many other novels, stories and other works followed, culminating in perhaps her most famous book The Hour of the Star, published just before her premature death in 1977. Her biographer Benjamin Moser has described her as ‘the most important Jewish writer in the world since Kafka’, and noted Brasilophile Colm Tóibín says that she ‘wrote … with a sense of a need to stir and shake narrative itself to see where it might take her, as the bewildered and original writer that she was, and us, her bewildered and excited readers.’

Explore some of her titles here, and come and meet them in person in Bury Place throughout the month.

Complete Stories

Clarice Lispector, translated by Katrina Dodson

From the publisher:

Features stories ranging from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies to ...

The Besieged City

Clarice Lispector, translated by Johnny Lorenz

From the publisher:

At last in English, and sure to be a revelation to her fans, Clarice Lispector’s third book is unlike any of her other novels—it even has a happy ending

The Chandelier

Clarice Lispector, translated by Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards

From the publisher:

Clarice Lispector’s masterly second novel, now available in English for the first time ‘She found the best clay that one could desire: white, supple, sticky, cold ... ...

Agua Viva

Clarice Lispector, translated by Stefan Tobler

From the publisher:

Despite its apparent spontaneity, this is a work of art, which rearranges language and plays in the gaps between reality and fiction.

The Passion According to G.H

Clarice Lispector, translated by Idra Novey

From the publisher:

G H, a well-to-do Rio sculptress, enters the room of her maid, which is as clear and white ‘as in an insane asylum from which dangerous objects have been removed’. There ...

Near to the Wildheart

Clarice Lispector, translated by Alison Entrekin

From the publisher:

As Joana, endlessly mutable, moves through different emotional states, different inner lives and different truths, this impressionistic, dreamlike and fiercely intelligent ...

The Chandelier

Clarice Lispector, translated by Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards

From the publisher:

The Chandelier, written when Lispector was only twenty-three, reveals a very different author from the college student whose debut novel, Near to the Wild Heart, announced ...