La Piccioletta Barca

Our inaugural discussion concerning the novel Água Viva by Clarice Lispector, was led by Micaela Brinsley.

About Água Viva

In the forty years since its publication toward the end of its author’s life, Água Viva, an unordered meditation on the nature of life and time, has exercised a powerful influence on Brazil’s greatest artists: one musician read it one hundred and eleven times. This new translation shows why, in a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically radical as Clarice Lispector’s, this strange and hypnotic work stands out as a particularly magnificent triumph.

About Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector was born in western Ukraine to a Jewish family who fled to Brazil to escape anti-Semitic violence. She moved to Recife, Brazil at the age of two and then moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters when her mother passed away when Lispector was nine years old. She went on to become a journalist, study law and then spent much of her adult life living around the world with her husband who worked for the foreign service. She returned to Brazil in 1959, and lived in Rio until her death in 1977. She is most known for her debut text, Near to the Wild Heart, as well as The Passion According to G.H., and novel-as-dialogue A Breath of Life, which was compiled posthumously by a friend.

'Lispector had an ability to write as though no one had ever written before.' - Colm Tóibín


The only televised/recorded interview with Lispector (in Portuguese with English subtitles):

A short story called Clandestine Happiness by Lispector, translated by Rachel Klein for BOMB Magazine:

A short story called Good Friends by Lispector, translated by Giovanni Pontiero for BOMB Magazine:

For more information on Clarice Lispector and her life, check out Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, written by Benjamin Moser:

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