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Clarice Lispector was born in 1920 to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the anti-Semitic violence they endured, the family fled to Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign service, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil's greatest modern writer. The son of Brazilian immigrants, Johnny Lorenz teaches at Montclair State University and received a Fulbright for his work in Brazilian literature. Benjamin Moser is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, and is also the editor of a new translation of Clarice Lispector's work, of which this is the sixth volume. A former books columnist at Harper's Magazine, Moser is now a columnist at The New York Times Book Review, and is currently at work on the authorized biography of Susan Sontag. He lives in the Netherlands.
"One of the twentieth century's most mysterious writers in all her vibrant colors." -- Orhan Pamuk "Her images dazzle even when her meaning is most obscure, and when she is writing of what she despises she is lucidity itself." -- The Times Literary Supplement "Reading Lispector is an intellectual adventure... Serious writing is a dangerous business, and unlike any other author, Lispector is willing to embrace the danger and come out the other side of the void." -- The Coffin Factory "Both dazzling and difficult." -- San Francisco Chronicle "One of 20th-century Brazil's most intriguing and mystifying writers." -- The L Magazine "The raw, demanding pace and the dialogic form of A Breath of Life provoke an urgent meditation on life, self, and time. In fact, reading this novel may be a form of meditation." -- Full Stop "I had a sort of missionary urge with her...but I started thinking, even when I was 19: How can I help this person reach the prominence she deserves?" -- Benjamin Moser - San Francisco Chronicle