The Hour of the Star (Second Edition)by Clarice Lispector
A new edition of Clarice Lispector’s final masterpiece, now with a vivid introduction by Colm Tóibín.Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa loves movies, Coca-Colas/p>
A new edition of Clarice Lispector’s final masterpiece, now with a vivid introduction by Colm Tóibín.Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa loves movies, Coca-Colas, and her rat of a boyfriend; she would like to be like Marilyn Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly and unloved. Rodrigo recoils from her wretchedness, and yet he cannot avoid the realization that for all her outward misery, Macabéa is inwardly free/She doesn't seem to know how unhappy she should be. Lispector employs her pathetic heroine against her urbane, empty narrator—edge of despair to edge of despair—and, working them like a pair of scissors, she cuts away the reader's preconceived notions about poverty, identity, love and the art of fiction. In her last book she takes readers close to the true mystery of life and leave us deep in Lispector territory indeed.
challenges the reader’s notions of identity, storytelling, and love.
- New Directions Publishing Corporation
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Meet the Author
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.
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book is literally insane and well written. The book is a captivating story about a woman who has no point to life. The description of her ovaries 'like overcooked mushrooms' tell us this. The book is so random and will keep throwing surprises at you. I read the book with in a day. The book has like twelve possible titles when you open it. You cannot help, but adapt her style of writing.
I never imagined that a novel this short could be so utterly fantastic. Buy it. Read it. Read it one more time. Be amazed.
The characters in the book were difficult to follow. There may have been reason for this but I found it confusing. I suspect that the translation may have contributed to my confusion.
A great look at someone at the bottom of the barrel from the perspective of someone at the top. I love the fact that Lispector is a woman and writes as a man telling the story of another woman. Very interesting stylistic choice. Very boring beginning but push through because it's the setup for the rest of the book. Great brief read.
Clarice Lispector's 'Hour of the Star' is a charming tale about a young girl who floats through life without a clear sense of purpose. Macabea, the protagonist, is ignorant rather than stupid. Growing up in a world of poverty and social destitution has left her with not a friend in the world and not a clue how to adapt to the realities of a society that demands conformity. So why would anyone want to read a story about a tragic girl whom nobody loves? You'll have to read 'Hour of the Star' yourself and find your own meaning. Lispector has a great talent for bestowing great significance to mundane and ordinary things. Although it's a bit random and vague at times, I enjoyed the book's philosophical ramblings and its tragic anti-heroine.