Clarice Lispector's debut novel (published when she was in her early 20s) hums with a heady mix of existential distress and youthful uncertainty. Joana, Near to the Wild Heart's main character, is encumbered by the myriad vagaries of everyday reality and, given her introspective and indecisive temperament, finds herself nearly estranged from all those close to her (and often even herself). Near to the Wild Heart is an emotionally rich novel that compels one to consider, as Joana struggles to do, the ever-changing, malleable, and indeterminate nature of individual being. Beautiful and bewitching, the uniqueness of Lispector's style makes all of her fiction imperative reading. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Near to the Wild Heart
, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called “Hurricane Clarice”: a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: “He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life.”
The book was an unprecedented sensation — the discovery of a genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: “I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt.”
"A truly remarkable writer." Jonathan Franzen
"Lispector is one of the hidden geniuses of twentieth century literature, in the same league as Flann O'Brien, Borges and Pessoa... utterly original and brilliant, haunting and disturbing." Colm Tóibín
"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
"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
"That Lispector could write such a complete and satisfying coming-of-age story at twenty-three is proof -- were any needed -- that she was always ahead of the game." SFGate
"We now finally have a translation worthy of Clarice Lispector's inimitable style. Go out and buy it." The Guardian
"It is Lispector's attempt -- successful, I would say -- to sacralize one of the vilest qualities in the Western world." The Guardian
"It is jarring and yet restorative to read a writer whose focus is so private, internal." Boston Globe
"There's a feeling of encountering something completely new and classic at the same time." Time Out Chicago
"One of 20th-century Brazil’s most intriguing and mystifying writers." Time Out Chicago
"One of 20th-century Brazil's most intriguing and mystifying writers." The L Magazine
This new translation of Clarice Lispector's sensational first book tells the story of a middle class woman's life from childhood through an unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence.
About the Author
Clarice Lispector (1925-1977), the author of such works as Near to the Wild Heart, The Hour of the Star, and The Passion According to G. H., is the internationally acclaimed novelist and short-story writer from Brazil and the subject of Benjamin Moser's magisterial biography Why This World.
Alison Entrekin has translated a number of works by Brazilian and Portuguese authors into English, including City of God by Paulo Lins and Budapest by Chico Buarque.