Outside Latin America, I found to my dismay very few people knew her, and I long wondered why. Was it because she wrote in Portuguese, a language whose literary productions were so invisible outside its own territory that it was once nicknamed "the tomb of thought"? Was it because nobody expects the greatest Jewish writer since Kafka to be a part-time beauty columnist whose Chanel suits and wraparound sunglasses made her look more like a Rio socialite than a mystic genius?
Or was it precisely because she was a Jewish woman in a literary economy that expects a Latin American writer to be a mustachioed chronicler of jungles and slums? Whatever the reason that the man on the street does not know Clarice Lispector, I started discovering, once I embarked on the half-decade project of writing her biography, "Why This World ", that Clarice was a secret passion that many people, often prominent writers, had cherished for years. Members of this hidden fraternity would pop up all over the world. And they got the same crazed glint in their eye that I got when speaking of her. Colm Tóibín, at a wedding in Italy, rushed up to me to proclaim his love for her, and said he would do "anything anything!" to get more people to read her. Orhan Pamuk, who had read "The Passion According to G.H." in Turkish, confessed at breakfast in Stockholm one morning that he had been fascinated by her ever since. Guillermo Arriaga, a famous Mexican novelist and screenwriter, said that you can’t read Clarice Lispector without falling in love with her.
Benjamin Moser, para o The Economist.