The Chandelier: Book summary and reviews of The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector

The Chandelier

by Clarice Lispector

The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector X
The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2018
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Now, for the first time in English we have Clarice Lispector's second novel - a radical part of what made her a Brazilian legend.

Fresh from the enormous success of her debut novel Near to the Wild Heart, Hurricane Clarice let loose something stormier with The Chandelier. In a body of work renowned for its potent idiosyncratic genius, The Chandelier in many ways has pride of place. "It stands out," her biographer Benjamin Moser noted, "in a strange and difficult body of work, as perhaps her strangest and most difficult book." Of glacial intensity, consisting almost entirely of interior monologues - interrupted by odd and jarring fragments of dialogue and action - the novel moves in slow waves that crest in moments of revelation.

As Virginia seeks freedom via creation, the drama of her isolated life is almost entirely internal: from childhood, she sculpts clay figurines with "the best clay one could desire: white, supple, sticky, cold. She got a clear and tender material from which she could shape a world. How, how to explain the miracle ..." While on one level simply the story of a woman's life, The Chandelier's real drama lies in Lispector's attempt "to find the nucleus made of a single instant ... the tenuous triumph and the defeat, perhaps nothing more than breathing." The Chandelier pushes Lispector's lifelong quest for that nucleus into deeper territories than any of her other amazing works.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. While she compellingly evokes the journey out of childhood, as well as loneliness, self-determination, and the magnetic pull of family, Lispector's signature brilliance lies in the minutely observed gradations of her characters' feelings and of their elusive, half-formed thoughts. " - Kirkus

"This is a haunting family fable, and will fascinate those seeking a glimpse at Lispector's genius in development." - Publishers Weekly

"One of the twentieth century's most mysterious writers." - Orhan Pamuk

"Better than Borges." - Elizabeth Bishop

"Utterly original and brilliant, haunting and disturbing." - Colm Tóibín

The information about The Chandelier shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Clarice Lispector

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 "a truly remarkable writer" (Jonathan Franzen). "Her images dazzle even when her meaning is most obscure," noted the Times Literary Supplement, "and when she is writing of what she despises, she is lucidity itself."

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