Like drifting naked on a foggy ocean while a storm blows in, or receiving tiny, repeated shocks behind the eyes. Lispector grapples with issues of God, time, death, authorship, and the insufficiency of language. This slim volume will send you reeling for weeks.
— Sarah G.
This book is so sharp and thin it's more knife than novel. It's poetry. It's philosophy. It's an existential roller coaster. It's like getting struck by lightning. Be careful. You may never be the same.
Lispector at her most philosophically radical.
A meditation on the nature of life and time, Água Viva (1973) shows Lispector discovering a new means of writing about herself, more deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry. In a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically profound as Clarice Lispector’s, Água Viva stands out as a particular triumph.
About the Author
Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), the greatest Brazilian writer of the twentieth century, has been called “astounding” (Rachel Kushner), “a penetrating genius” (Donna Seaman, Booklist), and “one of the twentieth century’s most mysterious writers” (Orhan Pamuk).
Born in Belém, Brazil, Stefan Tobler is the publisher of And Other Stories and, whenever time permits, a translator from Portuguese and German. His translation of Arno Geiger’s The Old King in His Exile was shortlisted for both the Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize and Schlegel-Tieck Prize, and his other translations include the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize-shortlisted Água Viva by Clarice Lispector and the Man Booker International Prize finalist A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar.
General editor of the new translations of Clarice Lispector’s complete works at New Directions, BENJAMIN MOSER is the author of Why This World: The Biography of Clarice Lispector, and Sontag: Her Life and Work, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. His new book, The Upside-Down World: Meetings with the Dutch Masters, will be published in October.
This is a fictional account of a woman’s attempt to escape from conventional time and exist instead in a perpetually renewing “this instant-now”. Lispector pursued this same seemingly impossible aim through a number of books – getting closer and closer to the confused and thrilling feeling of fully conscious aliveness. Água Viva is where she succeeds most amazingly.
— Toby Litt - The Guardian
Brilliant and unclassifiable… Glamorous, cultured, moody, Lispector is an emblematic twentieth-century artist who belongs in the same pantheon as Kafka and Joyce. — Edmund White
This is a book that, like a good painting, can be picked up anywhere and that will continue to reward renewed contact over months and years of acquaintance. — Scott Esposito - Barnes & Noble Review
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
One of 20th-century Brazil’s most intriguing and mystifying writers. — The L Magazine