Why This World : A Biography of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser

This is a good book, love Clarice and Benjamin Moser truly sold her art for writing to me. Clarice Lispector was someone who wrote in her own style and always tried to improve on it. We learn a lot about Clarice’s life. How she was married to a diplomat from Brazil that raised her, how she raised a family and going abroad until being away from Brazil finally got to her. We read about how Clarice adored her friends and sisters and we also read about her struggles looking after her sons an at times, how lonely she was.

My only criticism is that I thought Moser may have got in the way too much with his own opinions etc, but clearly a big fan himself and this isn’t anything on the level of an academic text but an introduction to English speakers to a truly a remarkable woman. This is a love letter from Moser to us about Clarice and definitely took it all in.

We also get to see what the literary and political life of Brazil was like during Clarice’s lifetime and the heartbreaking story of Clarice’s family from how they escaped the awful anti semitism in (what is now) Ukraine of which Clarice’s sister Elisa wrote about herself.

Clarice comes out really well in this. Intelligent and beautiful but Moser isn’t shy of showing the bad side of Clarice as well as the good which for me is fair and despite Clarice at her worse, she’s still someone we can connect with. She is. someone I personally would like to have met.