For a certain kind of reader this collection of short stories by Brazil’s greatest author may be the book of the year…decade…or century. Every story in here is a kind of spell as she infuses comic and existential significance into the seemingly mundane lives, loves and dreams of her characters. It’s definitely one of my favorite books of the year.
Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, 85 in all, are an epiphany, among the important books of this—or any—year
The recent publication by New Directions of five Lispector novels revealed to legions of new readers her darkness and dazzle. Now, for the first time in English, are all the stories that made her a Brazilian legend: from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies to old people who don’t know what to do with themselves. Clarice’s stories take us through their lives—and ours.
From one of the greatest modern writers, these stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow an unbroken time line of success as a writer, from her adolescence to her death bed.
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).
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.
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.
Complete Stories is an enchanting compilation marked by Lispector’s sharp and stylistically playful use of language.
Clarice Lispector had a diamond-hard intelligence, a visionary instinct, and a sense of humor that veered from a naïf wonder to wicked comedy. — Rachel Kushner
One of the hidden geniuses of the twentieth century. — Colm Tóbín
Lispector reads with lively intelligence and is terrifically funny. Language, for her, was the self''s light. — Lorrie Moore
The elusive genius who dramatized a fractured interior world in rich, synesthetic prose. — Megan O'Grady
Clarice Lispector is the premier Latin American prose writer of the century.
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
Her long-awaited arrival — of which this is only the beginning — might be compared to the translation and publication of Kafka’s work in early 1940s.
To fans, Lispector is simply 'Clarice,' like Cher or Madonna or her countryman, Pele. — Brenda Cronin
Through these 85 stories, these mini invasions, it's apparent that yes, Clarice Lispector was indeed a singular artist. Decades after her death, she continues to champion the possibilities of language, and its ability to mesmerize. — Juan Vidal
Startlingly innovative. — Elissa Shappel
A genius on the level of Nabokov. — Jeff VanderMeer
For readers who worship at the altar of Lispector, the appearance of new work in translation is an event...Calling the release of Lispector’s Complete Stories in English an ''epiphany'' in its promotional copy may sound like hyperbole. It’s not.
The fruit of a most original and daring mind. In the best stories, something deeply strange is fully visualized by Lispector, as though it had come in a waking dream and it needed to be given urgent substance. — Colm Tóibín
Writing to prolong a life at its end, Lispector increasingly writes in the creases of time. — Ava Kofman