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Near to the Wild Heart: A Novel Paperback – September 17, 1990

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Portugese

About the Author

Clarice Lispector was born in 1920 to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the anti-Semitic violence they endured, the family fled to Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign service, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil's greatest modern writer.

Giovanni Pontiero (1932–1996) was the ablest translator of twentieth century literature in Portuguese and one of its most ardent advocates. He was the principal translator into English of the works of José Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; First Edition edition (September 17, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811211401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811211406
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,573,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Don't believe the one negative review. This is one of the most stunning books I have ever read. Lispector wrote several dull experimental novels in between this and her final masterpiece, The Hour of the Star. Be that what it is. No one has ever gotten so close to Virginia Woolf in her gorgeous stream of consciousness writing.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a choice for the reading group at my local bookstore. It is a Brazilian novel, written in 1944, when the author was only 19 years old. It's written in a stream-of consciousness style and covers the childhood and early adulthood of Joana, whose view of the world is one of sadness and introspection. There's a unique use of language and a few good moments but it was a struggle to read and, if it wasn't a reading assignment, I would have thrown the book in the garbage after the first few pages. There was just too much introspection for me and non-linear self-absorbed thought. Her inner life bored me completely and, even though she used language well, I was never moved. I was just bored.

That said, I must say that all the other members of the group, without exception, thought this was some sort of a masterpiece. Her angst-filled personality was meaningful to them, her words were unique expressions of wisdom. It was hard for me to believe how much they loved this book.

When I think about it the author did have a unique voice. She did use language in a way that evoked emotion. And there was a bit of literary art to it. But I never would have read it had it not be an assignment. And I really did hate it.
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