An Apprenticeship, or The Book of Pleasures
Fiction by Clarice Lispector
Translated from the Portuguese by Stefan Tobler
What to make of a writer who follows the metaphysical heights of her great The Passion According to GH with a book that looks suspiciously like a romance novel?
In An Apprenticeship, or The Book of Pleasures, Clarice Lispector tries to discover how to even try to bridge the gap between people.
A woman struggles to emerge from solitude and sadness into love, including sexual love: her guide on this journey is Ulisses, who (yes) leads her patiently into the fullness of life. An Apprenticeship was a bestseller and, as her biographer Benjamin Moser writes, “This accessible love story surprised many readers. When it came out, an interviewer said: ‘I thought The Book of Pleasures was much easier to read than any of your other books. Do you think there’s any basis for that?’ Clarice answered: ‘There is. I humanized myself, the book reflects that.’”