Jenny McPhee

In my pantheon of favorite writers, Clarice Lispector is right there at the top.  She’s a writer, like Muriel Spark or Thomas Bernhard, who always make me ask when reading their work: Is this allowed? Sometimes her prose has such power I am made to wonder if I have the strength and stability to keep reading. Championed by Elizabeth Bishop and Helene Cixous, Lispector is nevertheless still not well known to English-language readers. The miraculous internet sent these two Clarice Lispector  stories my way recently via twitter and so I thought I’d post them.


The Hen
Clarice Lispector
Translated by Elizabeth Bishop

(First published in the Summer 1964 issue of The Kenyon Review)

She was a Sunday hen.  She was still alive only because it was not yet 9:00 o’clock.

She seemed calm.  Since Saturday she had cowered in a corner of the kitchen.  She didn’t look at anyone, no one looked at…

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