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.”
Related collections and offers
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 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.
What People are Saying About This
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.
A truly remarkable writer.