Água Viva

Clarice Lispector

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  • New Directions
  • 2018
  • ISBN 9780811219907
  • 128 pages
  • Sofcover
  • 20.5 × 13.2 × 0.7 cm

Translated from the Portuguese by Stefan Tobler / Edited by Benjamin Moser

A meditation on the nature of life and time, Água Viva (1973) shows Lispector discovering a new means of writing about herself, more deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry. In a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically profound as Clarice Lispector’s, Água Viva stands out as a particular triumph.

Clarice Lispector (born Chaya Pinkhasivna Lispector; December 10, 1920 – December 9, 1977) was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer acclaimed internationally for her innovative novels and short stories. Born to a Jewish family in Podolia in Western Ukraine, as an infant she moved to Brazil with her family, amidst the disasters engulfing her native land following the First World War.

The family moved to Rio de Janeiro when she was in her teens. While in law school in Rio, she began publishing her first journalistic work and short stories, catapulting to fame at the age of 23 with the publication of her first novel, Near to the Wild Heart (Perto do Coração Selvagem), written as an interior monologue in a style and language that was considered revolutionary in Brazil.

She left Brazil in 1944, following her marriage to a Brazilian diplomat, and spent the next decade and a half in Europe and the United States. After returning to Rio de Janeiro in 1959, she began producing her most famous works, including the stories of Family Ties (Laços de Família), the great mystic novel The Passion According to G.H. (A Paixão Segundo G.H.), and what is arguably her masterpiece, Água Viva. Injured in an accident in 1966, she spent the last decade of her life in frequent pain, steadily writing and publishing novels and stories until her premature death in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil’s greatest modern writer.

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