Brenda Cronin, Wall Street Journal, 8/11/2015
In Clarice Lispector’s stories, civilization is perilously close to unraveling. In “Beauty and the Beast or The Enormous Wound,” a Rio banker’s wife fresh from the beauty salon at the Copacabana Palace Hotel feels murderous urges toward the beggar she encounters while awaiting her chauffeur.
In “Love,” a housewife heading home with her groceries is undone by the sight of a blind man chewing gum on a tram. In “Happy Birthday,” the 89-year-old guest of honor isn’t a sugary grandmother but rather a seething matriarch who quietly rages at her offspring and deliberately shocks them by spitting during a family party.