Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector (born Chaya, December 10, 1920 – December 9, 1977) was a Brazilian writer.

She was born to a Jewish family in Chechelnyk, Podolia, a shtetl in what today is Ukraine.  Having suffered in the pogroms during the Russian Civil War that followed the dissolution of the Russian Empire, her family fled to Romania, from where they emigrated to Brazil in 1922.

Clarice attended the Colégio Hebreo-Idisch-Brasileiro, where she learned Hebrew and Yiddish, and the Ginásio Pernambucano. In 1937, she entered the Law School of Universidade de São Paulo. While still in Law Schoolr, she began working as a journalist, and published her first short stories. In 1943, she married her classmate, Maury Gurgel Valente, who had entered the Brazilian Foreign Service as a diplomat.

She left Brazil in 1944, following her husband, and spent the next decade and a half in Europe and the United States. After her divorce, she returned to Rio de Janeiro in 1959, where she wrote her most famous novels. She died of cancer in 1977.



  • Perto do Coração Selvagem (1943) – Near to the Wild Heart
  • O Lustre (1946) – The Chandelier
  • A Cidade Sitiada (1949) – The Besieged City
  • A Maçã no Escuro (1961) The Apple in the Dark
  • A Paixão segundo G.H. (1964) – The Passion According to G.H.
  • Uma Aprendizagem ou O Livro dos Prazeres (1969) – An Apprenticeship or The Book of Pleasures
  • Água Viva (1973) – The Stream of Life
  • A hora da Estrela (1977) – The Hour of the Star
  • Um Sopro de Vida (1978) – A Breath of Life

Short story collections

  • Alguns contos (1952) – Some Stories
  • Laços de família (1960) – Family Ties. Includes works previously published in Alguns Contos.
  • A legião estrangeira (1964) – The Foreign Legion
  • Felicidade clandestina (1971) – Covert Joy
  • A imitação da rosa (1973) – The Imitation of the Rose. Includes previously published material.
  • A via crucis do corpo (1974) – The Via Crucis of the Body
  • Onde estivestes de noite (1974) – Where You Were at Night
  • Para não esquecer (1978) – Not to Forget
  • A bela e a fera (1979) – Beauty and the Beast
  • The Complete Stories (2015)

Children’s literature

  • O Mistério do Coelho Pensante (1967) – The Mystery of the Thinking Rabbit
  • A mulher que matou os peixes (1968) – The Woman Who Killed the Fish
  • A Vida Íntima de Laura (1974) – Laura’s Intimate Life
  • Quase de verdade (1978) – Almost True
  • Como nasceram as estrelas: Doze lendas brasileiras (1987) – How the Stars were Born: Twelve Brazilian Legends


  • A Descoberta do Mundo (1984) – The Discovery of the World (named Selected Chronicas in the English version). Lispector’s newspaper columns in the Jornal do Brasil.
  • Visão do esplendor (1975) – Vision of Splendor
  • De corpo inteiro (1975) – With the Whole Body. Lispector’s interviews with famous personalities.
  • Aprendendo a viver (2004) – Learning to Live. A selection of columns from The Discovery of the World.
  • Outros escritos (2005) – Other Writings. Diverse texts including interviews and stories.
  • Correio feminino (2006) – Ladies’ Mail. Selection of Lispector’s texts, written pseudonymously, for Brazilian women’s pages.
  • Entrevistas (2007) – Interviews


  • Cartas perto do coração (2001) – Letters near the Heart. Letters exchanged with Fernando Sabino.
  • Correspondências (2002) – Correspondence
  • Minhas queridas (2007) – My dears. Letters exchanged with her sisters Elisa Lispector and Tania Lispector Kaufmann.



  • Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, by Benjamin Moser. Oxford University Press (2009)

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