Cook Music Library Digital Exhibitions

Clarice Lispector (Brazil, 1920-2004)

Photo: Clarice Lispector, 1969

Clarice Lispector (1969)


Novelist, short story writer, and journalist

Clarice Lispector is among of the most original and powerful authors of the second half of the 20th century. Her writing and her personal life are deeply connected: a constant quest for personal identity, both as a human being and as a woman, marks her work and has made her one of the most important female voices in contemporary literature.

Born in Ukraine, Clarice Lispector was the youngest daughter of an Ukrainian Jewish couple who migrated to Brazil. An avid reader at an early age, Clarice started writing very soon and published her first short story “Triumfo” (Triumph) in 1940 in the Rio de Janeiro journal Pan. In that same year, two more short stories were published in the weekly Vamos Ler. The year 1943 was a pivotal year in her Lispector’s life. She was granted Brazilian citizenship, married, graduated from law school, and saw her first novel, Perto do coração selvagem (Near to the Wild Heart), published. This work brought her immediate critical acclaim.

In her novels and short stories, Clarice Lispector displayed an innovative narrative style characterized by such devices as internal monologue, self-referential storytelling, and the use of abstract, elliptical language. In her work, female characters not only abound, but they are also vested with clear autobiographical features. Her narrative sheds a singular light on the social constraints experienced by women, particularly middle-class, in Brazilian society.

Throughout her career, Clarice Lispector received significant accolades, including the Prêmio Graça Aranha for Best First Novel for Perto do coração selvagem in 1943, and the coveted Prêmio Jabuti (1961) for Laços de família in the short story and novel category. Lispector was a close friend of prominent poet and diplomat João Cabral de Melo Neto (1920-1999), another Ibero-American cultural luminary honored in this virtual exhibition.

Photo: Clarice Lispector and Tom Jobim, 1961

Clarice Lispector and Tom Jobim (1961)


View a chronology of Clarice Lispector's life. View also.


Arquivo Clarice Lispector - Fundação Casa de Rui Barbosa

Clarice Lispector - Instituto Moreira Salles


Movie Poster: Hour of the Star, 1985

Movie poster: Hour of the Star (1985)

Book cover: A palavra segundo Clarice Lispector, 2011

Book cover: 

A palavra segundo Clarice Lispector:

Aproximações críticas 2011

Book cover: Why this World, 2009

Book cover: Why this World.

A Biography of Clarice Lispector (2009)

Adaptations based Clarice Lispector’s work

Amaral, Suzana. 2005 [1985]. A hora da estrela / The Hour of the Star. By Marcélia Cartaxo, Alfredo Oroz, Eliane Bandeira, Suzana Amaral, José Dumont and Clarice Lispector. New York, NY: Kino on Video. DVD. 96 min

Criticism on Clarice Lispector

Cixous, Hélène. 1990. Reading with Clarice Lispector. Translated by Verena Andermatt Conley. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Clarice Lispector. 2004. São Paulo: Instituto Moreira Salles.

Coutinho, Fernanda, Vera Lúcia Albuquerque de Moraes, and Clarice Lispector, eds. 2012. Clarices: uma homenagem (90 anos de nascimento, 50 anos de Laços de familia. Edited by Clarice Lispector, Fernanda Coutinho and Vera Lúcia Albuquerque de Moraes. Fortaleza: Imprensa Universitária

Fitz, Earl E. 2001. Sexuality and Being in the Poststructuralist Universe of Clarice Lispector: The Différance of Desire. Austin: University of Texas Press

Gotlib, Nádia Battella. 1995. Clarice: uma vida que se conta. 3rd ed. São Paulo: Editora Atica.

Gotlib, Nádia Battella. 2009. Clarice fotobiografia. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Edusp; Imprensa Oficial.

Namorato, Luciana, and César Ferreira, eds. 2011. La palabra según Clarice Lispector: aproximaciones críticas = A palavra segundo Clarice Lispector: aproximações críticas = The Word According to Clarice Lispector: Critical Approaches. Edited by Luciana Namorato and César Ferreira. Lima: Centro de Estudios Literarios Antonio Cornejo Polar.

Peixoto, Marta. 1994. Passionate Fictions: Gender, Narrative, and Violence in Clarice Lispector. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Sá, Olga de. 1993. Clarice Lispector: a travessia do oposto. 1a. ed. ed. São Paulo: Annablume

Zorzanelli, Rafaela Teixeira. 2006. "Esboços não acabados e vacilantes": despersonalização e experiência subjetiva na obra de Clarice Lispector. São Paulo: Annablume

Bibliographies and biographies

Ferreira, Teresa Cristina Montero. 1999. Eu sou uma pergunta: uma biografia de Clarice Lispector. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco.  

Marting, Diane E. 1993. Clarice Lispector: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press

Moser, Benjamin. 2009. Clarice: uma biografia. São Paulo: Cosac Naify

Moser, Benjamin. 2009. Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector. Oxford: Oxford University Press

More works on Clarice Lispector available at IU Bloomington Libraries.

Statue: Clarice Lispector with her dog Ulisses

Edgar Duvivier. Clarice Lispector and her dog UlissesLeme, Rio de Janeiro.


Clarice Lispector - Portal da Crónica Brasileira


Adaptations of A hora de estrela

A hora da estrela - Play staged by Fátima do Vale Theater School, São Paulo, 2015.

A hora da estrela - a movie directed by Suzana Amaral (1985).

Clandestina Felicidade – A short film directed by Beto Normal and Marcelo Gomes (1998) [Adaptation of Clarice Lispector's autobiographical short story "Felicidade Clandestina”].

Clarice Lispector - De Corpo Inteiro Entrevistas – A film directed by Nicole Algranti (2010) [Mixing fiction and documentary, the film relives the interviews with prominent personalities conducted by Clarice Lispector for Manchete and Fatos & Fotos magazines during the 1970s].

Brazilian Literature: The 20th Century. Films On Demand. 2008. Accessed November 14, 2020. [Focusing on Brazilian avant-garde literature, the program explores the writings of Clarice Lispector among other prominent writers.] Resource available to authorized IU Bloomington users (on or off campus).

Interview with Clarice Lispector (1977) - Panorama, TV Cultura. [Clarice Lispector’s only televised interview, given to journalist Júlio Lerner of TV Cultura in January 1977. Lispector died later that year.] For this interview subtitled in English, cick here

A Hora de Clarice - Instituto Moreira Salles

Podcast da Clarice - Editora Rocco, on Spotify

Brasília escrita por Clarice Lispector - Cidades por escrito, Radio Batuta/ Instituto Moreira Salles

Clarice Lispector - Rádio MEC commemorates Clarice Lispector’s centennial

Album Lispector - Projeto Releituras, on Spotify


Hora de Clarice – Instituto Moreira Salles

Especial Clarice Lispector 100 Anos - TV Cultura

Paulo Gurgel Valente remembers his mother, Clarice Lispector - Instituto Moreira Salles (2014)

Clarice Lispector – Poesia e Prosa com Maria Bethânia [Artist Maria Bethânia reads excerpts from “Esclarecimentos” by Clarice Lispector, Canal Arte 1, 2020.]

Clarice, uma velha amiga (part 1) - Showing testimonials from close friends of Clarice Lispector, this two-part documentary also features excerpts of recorded interviews given by Clarice herself.

Clarice, uma velha amiga (part 2) - Showing testimonials from close friends of Clarice Lispector, this two-part documentary also features excerpts of recorded interviews given by Clarice herself.

No ar: A Hora das Estrelas (April 23, 2020) - On World Book Day, the first Festa Digital do Livro, sponsored by Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, hosted a diverse program of book readings, film screenings, music, and interviews dedicated to Clarice Lispector on the centennial of her birthday.

Agora/Now Clarice: A Celebration with Beatriz Azevedo and Moreno Veloso - Brazil LAB at Princeton University, 2020.


Clarice Lispector’s 98th Birthday Google Doodle. December 10, 2018. Created by Mariana Valente, Clarice's granddaughter. 

Clarice Lispector's Commemorative Postage Stamp

O Rio de Clarice - Opening of Caminhos Claricianos at Jardim Botânico in Rio (2012)

Clarice Lispector - Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells

Prêmio Clarice Lispector: Categoria Conto (2005—) - Prêmio Literário Biblioteca Nacional

Clarice Lispector as Artist - A little-known aspect of her life is Clarice Lispector’s special interest in art, particularly painting. She was closed to several artists and produced her own piantings, some of which are reproduced in Clarice Lispector: pinturas (2013). View sample artwork by Clarice Lispector.

Clarice Lispector – Que República é essa? Portal Estudos do Brasil Republicano, Arquivo Nacional, 2020.

Clarice Lispector – Projeto República, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), 2020.

A primeira vez de Clarice Lispector no teatro - Projeto Brasil Memória das Artes, Fundação Nacional de Artes (Funarte)

Clarice Lispector in El País – A collection of articles on Clarice Lispector, published in El País, Spain’s newspaper of record.