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About the book
  • Published: 28 January 2014
  • ISBN: 9781846147814
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $29.99
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Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector


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In Why This World Benjamin Moser unravels the turbulent life of an elusive genius: her birth in the nightmarish landscape of postwar Ukraine, her long exile in Brazil, her stormy personal life, her fierce talent, and how she transformed her struggles into a universally resonant art.

'That rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf,' Clarice Lispector was one of the twentieth century's most extraordinary modernist writers.  The brilliant, beautiful and enigmatic daughter of Russian-Jewish émigrés, she achieved instant celebrity at the age of twenty-three with her debut novel Near to the Wild Heart, and became a literary icon in Latin America.
In Why This World Benjamin Moser unravels the turbulent life of an elusive genius: her birth in the nightmarish landscape of postwar Ukraine, her long exile in Brazil, her stormy personal life, her fierce talent, and how she transformed her struggles into a universally resonant art.

'A great book . . . Clarice Lispector is one of the hidden geniuses of twentieth-century literature.' Colm Tóibín
'One of the twentieth century's most mysterious writers is finally revealed in all her  vibrant colours.' Orhan Pamuk
'Glamorous, cultured, moody, Lispector is an emblematic twentieth-century artist who belongs in the same pantheon as Kafka and Joyce. Benjamin Moser has brought to life her essentially tragic nature in all its complexity.'  Edmund White
'As Moser begins to unpeel the layers of her complicated life, Why This World sucks you into its subject's strange vortex.' Dwight Garner, The New York Times
'After finishing it, you will be in love with her.' Guillermo Arriaga

  • Pub date: 28 January 2014
  • ISBN: 9781846147814
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $29.99

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