"I read Near to the Wild Heart with a kind of ache in my chest. I would get to the end of a section and realize I had not stopped, such is the intensity of the mind of young Joana—full of sharpness, sensuousness, and light—such is the breathlessness of the writing of “Hurricane Clarice,” which left me scrambling—when I forced myself to stop—to copy down the sentences that were like hard little knobs of ice, like pockets of billowed foam, like smooth pieces of driftwood churned out of something dark, beautiful, untamed."
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. 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.”