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.”
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).
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, the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, is the editor of ND’s Clarice Lispector translation series, of which this is the ninth volume. For Sontag: Her Life and Work, he won the Pulitzer Prize.
Her images dazzle even when her meaning is most obscure, and when she is writing of what she despises she is lucidity itself.
Lispector is one of the hidden geniuses of twentieth century literature, in the same league as Flann O’Brien, Borges and Pessoa… utterly original and brilliant, haunting and disturbing. — Colm Tóibín
A truly remarkable writer. — Jonathan Franzen
We now finally have a translation worthy of Clarice Lispector's inimitable style. Go out and buy it.
It is jarring and yet restorative to read a writer whose focus is so private, internal.
One of 20th-century Brazil’s most intriguing and mystifying writers.
There's a feeling of encountering something completely new and classic at the same time.
I had a sort of missionary urge with her...but I started thinking, even when I was 19: How can I help this person reach the prominence she deserves? — Benjamin Moser