Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

Paperback | April 18, 2012

byBenjamin Moser

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"That rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf," Clarice Lispector is one of the most popular but least understood of Latin American writers. Now, after years of research on three continents, drawing on previously unknown manuscripts and dozens of interviews,Benjamin Moser demonstrates how Lispector's development as a writer was directly connected to the story of her turbulent life. Born in the nightmarish landscape of post-World War I Ukraine, Clarice became, virtually from adolescence, a person whose beauty, genius, and eccentricity intrigued Brazil.Why This World tells how this precocious girl, through long exile abroad and difficult personal struggles, matured into a great writer. It also asserts, for the first time, the deep roots in the Jewish mystical tradition that make her the true heir to Kafka as well as the unlikely author of "perhaps the greatest spiritual autobiography of the twentieth century." From Chechelnik to Recife, from Naples and Berne to Washington and Riode Janeiro, Why This World strips away the mythology surrounding this extraordinary figure and shows how Clarice Lispector transformed one woman's struggles into a universally resonant art. A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist A New York Times Notable Book An L.A. Times Nonfiction Favorite

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From the Publisher

"That rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf," Clarice Lispector is one of the most popular but least understood of Latin American writers. Now, after years of research on three continents, drawing on previously unknown manuscripts and dozens of interviews,Benjamin Moser demonstrates how Lispector's ...

Benjamin Moser is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and a contributor to the New York Review of Books and Conde Nast Traveler. His translation of The Hour of the Star inaugurated New Directions' Clarice Lispector series, of which he is the Editor. He lives in the Netherlands.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 18, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199895821

ISBN - 13:9780199895823

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Sphinx1. Fun vonen is a yid?2. That Irrational Something3. The Average Pogrom4. The Missing Name5. Statue of Liberty6. Griene Gringos7. The Magical Stories8. National Melodrama9. Only for Madmen10. Flying Down to Rio11. God Stirs the Waters12. Straight from the Zoo13. Hurricane Clarice14. Trampoline to Victory15. Naples16. The Society of Shadows17. Volume in the Brain18. The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace19. The Public Statue20. The Third Experience21. Her Empty Necklaces22. Marble Mausoleum23. The Intimate Balance24. Redemption Through Sin25. The Worst Temptation26. Belonging to Brazil27. Better than Borges28. The Cockroach29. And Revolution!30. The Egg Really Is White31. A Coarse Cactus32. Possible Dialogues33. Cultural Terror34. I Humanized Myself35. Monstre Sacre36. The story of instants that flee: Agua viva37. Purged38. Batuba Jantiram Lecoli39. Hen in Black Sauce40. Pornography41. The Witch42. The Thing Itself43. Lispectorian Silence44. Speaking from the Tomb45. Our Lady of the Good DeathEpilogue

Editorial Reviews

"A smart, passionate portrait of a truly remarkable writer. Lispector is a great subject, and Moser is the perfect biographer for her." --Jonathan Franzen