Skip to content

Benjamin Moser

Benjamin Moser is an American writer and translator.

Benjamin Moser is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, and is also the editor of a new translation of Clarice Lispector's work, of which The Complete Stories of Clarice Lispector is the sixth volume. A former books columnist at Harper's Magazine, Moser is now a columnist at The New York Times Book Review, and is currently at work on the authorized biography of Susan Sontag. He lives in the Netherlands.


The Hour of the Star

Fiction by Clarice Lispector

translated by Benjamin Moser
with a contribution by Colm Tóibín

The Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector’s consummate final novel, may well be her masterpiece. Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life’s unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa loves movies, Coca-Cola, and her rat of a boyfriend; she would like to be like Marilyn Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly, and unloved. Rodrigo recoils from her wretchedness, and yet he cannot avoid the realization that for all her outward misery, Macabéa is inwardly free. She doesn’t seem to know how unhappy she should be. As Macabéa heads toward her absurd death, Lispector employs her pathetic heroine against her urbane, empty narrator—edge of despair to edge of despair—and, working them like a pair of scissors, she cuts away the reader’s preconceived notions about poverty, identity, love, and the art of fiction. In her last book she takes readers close to the true mystery of life and leaves us deep in Lispector territory indeed.



Near to the Wild Heart

Fiction by Clarice Lispector

translated by Alison Entrekin
Edited by Benjamin Moser

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called "Hurricane Clarice": a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: "He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life."

The book was an unprecedented sensation — the discovery of genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: "I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt."

four_lispectors.jpg

Posters featuring the integrated covers for the four new Clarice Lispector translations are available here.



A Breath of Life

Fiction by Clarice Lispector

translated by Johnny Lorenz
Edited by Benjamin Moser

A mystical dialogue between a male author (a thinly disguised Clarice Lispector) and his/her creation, a woman named Angela, this posthumous work has never before been translated. Lispector did not even live to see it published. At her death, a mountain of fragments remained to be “structured” by a friend, Olga Borelli. These fragments form a dialogue between a god-like author who infuses the breath of life into his creation: the speaking, breathing, dying creation herself, Angela Pralini. The work’s almost occult appeal arises from the perception that if Angela dies, Clarice will have to die as well.

four_lispectors.jpg

Posters featuring the integrated covers for the four new Clarice Lispector translations are available here.



Água Viva

Fiction by Clarice Lispector

translated by Stefan Tobler
Edited by Benjamin Moser

A meditation on the nature of life and time, Água Viva (1973) shows Lispector discovering a new means of writing about herself, more deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry. In a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically profound as Clarice Lispector’s, Água Viva stands out as a particular triumph.

four_lispectors.jpg

Posters featuring the integrated covers for the four new Clarice Lispector translations are available here.



The Passion According to G.H.

Fiction by Clarice Lispector

translated by Idra Novey
Edited by Benjamin Moser

The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector's mystical novel of 1964, concerns a well-to-do Rio sculptress, G.H., who enters her maid's room, sees a cockroach crawling out of the wardrobe, and, panicking, slams the door — crushing the cockroach — and then watches it die. At the end of the novel, at the height of a spiritual crisis, comes the most famous and most genuinely shocking scene in brazilian literature…



The Complete Stories

Fiction by Clarice Lispector

translated by Katrina Dodson
with a contribution by Benjamin Moser

The recent publication by New Directions of five Lispector novels revealed to legions of new readers her darkness and dazzle. Now, for the first time in English, are all the stories that made her a Brazilian legend: from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers, to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies, to old people who don’t know what to do with themselves. Clarice’s stories take us through their lives—and ours.

From one of the greatest modern writers, these eighty-six stories, gathered from the nine collections published during Clarice LIspector’s lifetime, follow her from her teens to her deathbed.


Available: August 18 2015