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Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector has been dubbed the most important Jewish writer since Kafka. It’s said she wrote like Virginia Woolf — and looked like Marlene Dietrich.
Last year “Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector” (Oxford University Press) appeared to qualified praise. Readers and critics alike took issue with the biographer’s otiose portrait of Lispector as a Jewish mystic, even one of the tzaddikim, “bearers of that irrational something.”
The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its annual book awards on Saturday, which include Benjamin Moser’s “Why This World,” a biography of the Brazilian Jewish novelist Clarice Lispector.