New Directions for Clarice Lispector

Wednesday January 23, 2013
07:00 pm

Tags: Event


Part 2






In partnership with The Bridge Series, we presented translators of Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, Johnny Lorenz and Idra Novey, as they read from and discussed their work with New Directions publisher Barbara Epler.


Johnny Lorenz received his doctorate in English from the University of Texas at Austin and is an associate professor at Montclair State. He has published poetry in RattapallaxMassachusetts Review and Luso-American Literature, and scholarly articles in InterventionsBrasil/Brazil and Luso-Brazilian Review. Recipient of a 2003 Fulbright Scholarship to translate Brazilian poetry, he has published translations in MetamorphosesWashington SquareBomb, and Granta's The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists. His translation of Clarice Lispector's novel A Breath of Life was published in 2012 by New Directions.


Idra Novey is the author of Exit, Civilian, selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series, and The Next Country. Her poetry has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, in Poetry MagazineSlate, and elsewhere.  Her most recent translation is Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. She currently teaches at NYU and in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.


Barbara Epler grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and joined New Directions as an editorial assistant after graduating from college in 1984. She became Editor in Chief in 1995 and in 2008 she was named Publisher and in 2011 the President.


Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) was a Brazilian journalist, translator and author of fiction. Born in Western Ukraine into a Jewish family who suffered greatly during the pogroms of the Russian Civil War, she was an infant when her family fled for Rio de Janiero. At twenty-three, she became famous for her novel, Near to the Wild Heart, and married a Brazilian diplomat. She spent much of the forties and fifties in Europe and the United States, helping soldiers in a military hospital in Naples during World War II and writing, before leaving her husband and returning to Rio in 1959. Back home, she completed several novels including The Passion According to G.H. and The Hour of the Star before her death in 1977 from ovarian cancer. 


About the translations

In 2012, New Directions published five books by Clarice Lispector, edited by Benjamin Moser, author of the recent Lispector biographyWhy This World. The project includes four books: Near to the Wild Heart (translated by Alison Entrekin); A Breath of Life (translated for the first time by Johnny Lorenz); Agua Viva (translated by Stephan Tobler); and The Passion According to G.H. (translated by Idra Novey); and they were preceded by a new translation by Moser of Lispector's Hour of the Star.