Near to the Wild Heart

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New Directions Publishing, Jun 13, 2012 - Fiction - 220 pages
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This new translation of Clarice Lispector's sensational first book tells the story of a middle class woman's life from childhood through an unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence.

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called “Hurricane Clarice”: a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: “He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life.”

The book was an unprecedented sensation — the discovery of a genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: “I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt.”

 

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User Review  - MSarki - LibraryThing

A wonderful first trip into the Lispector interior. Amazing work for such a young woman. Lyrical and beautifully written. Easy to see the Hermann Hesse influences. I am not sure at all how she pulled ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Clarice Lispector was born in 1920 to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the anti-Semitic violence they endured, the family fled to Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign service, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil's greatest modern writer.

Alison Entrekin has translated a number of works by Brazilian and Portuguese authors into English, including City of God by Paulo Lins and Budapest by Chico Buarque.

Benjamin Moser is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, and is also the editor of a new translation of Clarice Lispector's work, of which this is the sixth volume. A former books columnist at Harper's Magazine, Moser is now a columnist at The New York Times Book Review, and is currently at work on the authorized biography of Susan Sontag. He lives in the Netherlands.

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