Clarice Lispector is one of the most celebrated Brazilian writers and, thanks to translator and author Benjamin Moser, her work is reaching U.S. bookstores. New Directions is the publisher behind this project and Moser's involvement is largely due to his efforts as Clarice's biographer―"Why This World" saw the light in 2009.
"The Hour of the Star," translated by Moser and Colm Tóibín, was published last year. In 2012, four of her novels will be revisited in English: "Near to the Wild Heart" (Moser and Alison Entrekin,) "The Passion According to G.H." (Moser and Idra Novey,) "A Breath of Life" (Moser and Johnny Lorenz,) and "Água Viva" (Moser and Stefan Tobler.)
Her work had been translated into English before, including "The Apple in the Dark" by translator Gregory Rabassa, who recalled being "flabbergasted to meet that rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf."
Clarice was born in the Ukraine and her family moved to Brazil when she was still a child. She had worked as a journalist and published some short stories before making her debut at 23 with "Near to the Wild Heart," which was groundbreaking because her style was so fresh for the Brazilian audience at the time. Additionally, she actually acted as an English into Portuguese translator for books written by Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and even Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire."
Hopefully this effort to revisit her work will spark some interest among the English-speaking audience, and also open doors to other celebrated Brazilian authors, classic and contemporary.