“Lost Books” is a weekly series highlighting forgotten books through the prism of Tablet Magazine’s and Nextbook.org’s archives. So blow the dust off the cover, and begin!
Brazilian-Jewish writer Clarice Lispector’s family immigrated from a Ukrainian shtetl to Recife, Brazil, when she was two months old, and she soon swapped out Yiddish, the language her family spoke at home, for Portuguese. In 1944, at the age of 24, she published her first novel, Near to the Wild Heart, which told the story of a middle-class woman’s sheltered upbringing and loveless marriage. The stunning, enigmatic writer, who rarely addressed Jewishness in her work (though she was fixated with Brazilianness), died of cancer in 1977, and is buried in the Jewish Cemetary of Caju, in Rio. Benjamin Moser, who wrote a biography on Lispector, spoke with Vox Tablet in 2009.
As Anderson Tepper wrote longingly in 2008,
And so I carried on, and was bewitched by the rest of her fiction as well—eerie, existential vignettes, savant-like parables and prophesies of modern angst seared by the Brazilian sun. Her work called to mind a tropical, female Kafka with sensory overload.
Read Dizzy With Life, by Anderson Tepper
Plus Syria still being hashed out, and more in the news
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.