I do not know if it is possible to like Clarice Lispector, simply and without fear. But I do know that it is possible to read a single Lispector sentence and find yourself tangled up inside of it for what you know, immediately and inexplicably, will be the rest of your literate life. I could try to explain the way that Clarice reassembles familiar components of language to create something at once recognizable and arrestingly off-kilter, or the way that all of her characters seem poised on the precipice of becoming undone by the simple fact of their own existence, but I don't know that any of these descriptions come particularly close to capturing the way that it feels to read (and I could choose any sentence, here, any fragment my finger landed upon in these six-hundred-plus pages): "...And as if it were a butterfly, Ana caught the instant between her fingers before it was never hers again."— Katie
One of the most phenomenally acclaimed and successful books of recent years is now available as a paperback—with three just-discovered stories
Here, gathered in one volume, are the stories that made Clarice a Brazilian legend. Originally a cloth edition of eighty-six stories, now we have eighty- nine in all, covering her whole amazing career, from her teenage years to her deathbed. In these pages, we meet teenagers becoming aware of their sexual and artistic powers, humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies, old people who don’t know what to do with themselves— and in their stories, Clarice takes us through their lives—and hers—and ours.
About the Author
Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), the greatest Brazilian writer of the twentieth century, has been called “astounding” (Rachel Kushner), “a penetrating genius” (Donna Seaman, Booklist), and “one of the twentieth century’s most mysterious writers” (Orhan Pamuk).
Katrina Dodson won the PEN Prize for Translation for Clarice Lispector's The Complete Stories. She is now at work on Macunaima, Mario de Andrade’s legendary novel.
Benjamin Moser is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle award. At New Directions, he edits the new translation of Clarice Lispector's work, of which The Besieged City is the eighth volume. For promoting her work around the world, the Brazilian government awarded him the first State Prize in Cultural Diplomacy. A former books columnist at Harper’s Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, his latest book, Sontag: Her Life and Work, is published by Ecco Press.
I felt physically jolted by genius.
— Katherine Boo
Reading Lispector is like being handed a world on fire.
— Juan Vidal
Translated beautifully and with a vigorous pulse by Katrina Dodson, The Complete Stories is bound to become a kind of bedside Bible or I Ching for readers of Lispector, both old and new.
— Valeria Luiselli
A dangerous book to read quickly or casually because it’s so consistently delirious. Her Complete Stories is a remarkable book, proof that she is one of the true originals of Latin American literature.
— Terrence Rafferty
Utterly original and brilliant, haunting and disturbing.
— Colm Tóibín