I have been reading, studying, and writing about Clarice Lispector’s work for more than 15 years. My introduction to Clarice first came in Santiago, Chile, in 2000 when I was teaching ESL at the Nido de Aguilas International School and my students were reading her final novel The Hour of the Star (originally published in Portuguese in 1977) as translated by Giovanni Pontiero. After a year of teaching and working as a journalist in Chile, I went back to school to pursue a PhD in Comparative Literature. My first year I enrolled in an intensive Portuguese class to learn the language (my teacher was then a graduate student — her name is Alessandra Santos). By the spring semester I found myself taking a seminar at UCLA with Elizabeth Marchant that was devoted entirely to Clarice and her work in Portuguese. I went to Brazil for the first time that summer, which is winter in South America. I returned with focused energy and a sense of what would become my dissertation project.
In October 2002, I gave my first academic paper on Clarice’s work at a graduate student conference at UCLA. The keynote speaker at the “Crime & Punishment in Literature and the Arts” conference was Hélène Cixous, whose 1979 book Vivre l’orange centers on Clarice and her oeuvre.
My paper for the conference was titled “Silence, or the Translator’s Inevitable Treason: Elizabeth Bishop’s Translations of Three Stories by Clarice Lispector.”
I went on to write about Clarice — in particular the “Three Stories” translated by Elizabeth Bishop and published in The Kenyon Review in 1964 — in my doctoral dissertation, and I have continued to write about her work in my published essays, which you can find below.
I feel a deep and long-standing connection to her legacy — specifically as seen in her published works and in her influence upon scores of artists and writers within and beyond Brazil.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
Special Guest. Los Angeles Review of Books’ LARB Radio Hour on KPFK-FM. On Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories (New Directions 2015) translated by Katrina Dodson. October 29, 2015. Podcast here.
Speaker/Interviewer. A conversation with translator Katrina Dodson about Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories. Skylight Books, Los Angeles. October 14, 2015. Podcast here.
“A Horribly Marvelous and Delicate Abyss: The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector.” The Millions. August 10, 2015.
“‘The House We Live In’: Elizabeth Bishop on the Big Screen.” The Paris Review Daily. November 7, 2013.
Special Guest. I gave a short lecture and then had a conversation with Mona Simpson as a special guest for her “Emerging Writers Series.” UCLA’s English Department and UCLA Friends of English. October 21, 2013.