Why This World:A Biography of Clarice Lispector: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, USA, Aug 4, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 496 pages
10 Reviews
"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 Rio de 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

User Review  - David - Goodreads

A wonderful and gripping biography that includes thoughtful overview and analysis of all her works. But in some ways Moser is almost a little too forgiving, unwilling to let even a single one of her ... Read full review

Review: Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

User Review  - jeand99 - Goodreads

Jewish. Kabbalistic. Mystic. Void. Numerology. Ukraine. And Brazil. These are the categories that inspired Clarice Lispector life, living and writing. Inspired and determined partially - but not ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

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.

Bibliographic information