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Lispector, Clarice


LISPECTOR, CLARICE (1925–1977), Brazilian author. Born in the Ukraine, she arrived in Brazil as a child. She is considered the most important Brazilian woman writer of the century. Her narrative achieves unexpected and disturbing perspectives by focusing on the internal life of characters (especially women) who are always in conflict with social and psychological conventions. Among her novels and collections of short stories are Perto do coração selvagem (1944; Near to the Wild Heart, 1990); Laços de família (1960; Family Ties, 1972); A maçã no escuro (1961; The Apple in the Dark, 1967); A paixão segundo G.H. (1964; The Passion According to G.H., 1988); Água viva (1973; The Stream of Life, 1989); A hora da estrela (1977; The Hour of the Star, 1992). She also wrote essays and stories for children. Though she identified herself as mainly Brazilian, criticism discusses the possible Jewish and biblical sources of her nonconformism, her belief in the power of words and her mystic overtones, and also her ironic attacks on the religious establishment. The name of the character Macabea (A hora da estrela), a socially deprived, powerless, and defeated young woman, seems deliberately chosen in contrast with tradition.


H. Cixous, Reading with Clarice Lispector (1990); E. Fitz, Clarice Lispector (1985); R. Di Antonio and N. Glickman, Tradition and Innovation: Reflections on Latin American Jewish Writing (1993); L. Guerra Cunningham, Splintering Darkness: Latin American Women Writers in Search of Themselves (1990); N. Vieira, Jewish Voices in Brazilian Literature (1995). Website: N. Lindstrom, "Clarice Lispector's World of Cultural Allusions," <>.

[Florinda F. Goldberg (2nd ed.)]

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