One of the great unexpected pleasures of redesigning our website came as we uploaded author photos. Many of them are incomparably wonderful, and in what I hope will be a semi-regular feature on the blog, we’ll point them out to you.
With this installment of Awesome Author Photos, we present Clarice Lispector. New Directions recently published a new edition of her most famous novel, The Hour of the Star, in a new translation by biographer Benjamin Moser, who is also overseeing the publication of four new editions of Lispector’s work in May of next year (more on that below). And with today’s Vogue.com endorsement of The Hour of the Star, it seems apt to share the author photo to the right (perfectly suitable for Vogue’s glossy pages) along with a much-quoted line from the translator Gregory Rabassa, who once said that, when he met Lispector, he was "flabbergasted" to meet "that rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf."
Corroboration for the first half of the comparison is obvious in the photograph to the right. In fact, the same photo inspired designer Paul Sahre when we asked him to design the covers for the four forthcoming titles. Have a look:
And as for the second half, superlative praise from the likes of Colm Tóibín, Orhan Pamuk, Jonathan Franzen, and Edmund White abounds. Or you can take our word for it that she’s a genius, and that you should definitely covet her writing.