Clarice Lispector is a Brazilian author born on December 10, 1920 in Chechelnyk, Ukrainian People’s Republic. As a child, her home was war-torn and completely unsafe for her and her family. Thus, she moved to Rio de Janeiro by the time she was a teenager. The arduous experiences she endured in her youth served as inspiration for the works she wrote as an adult.
In 1964, Lispector published The Passion According to GH, which is considered to be her literary masterpiece. It is an eccentric story as it details the life of a wealthy Brazilian artist. This artist steps into her maid’s personal room one day and sees a cockroach crawl from underneath the closet. Scared of the tiny creature, she crushes it. This minor incident sends the protagonist into a downward spiral, and the rest of the story follows her mental breakdown.
Upon its publication, The Passion According to GH received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. Suzanne Ruta of The New York Times states that Lispector “makes language the medium of both imprisonment and liberation, and the text is shaped in the form of a manual for meditation, a set of spiritual exercises leading at last to a more authentic relation with the world, the self and others. And she does it with an amazingly light and playful touch.”