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Clarice Lispector was born Chaya Pinkhasovna Lispector to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. When she was an infant, her family escaped the pogroms and disastrous situation of the country following World War I and moved to Brazil. She was raised in the northeastern part of the country and in Rio de Janeiro. While she studied law at the University of Brazil, she began working as a journalist and publishing her short stories. Her first novel, Near to the Wild Heart, won the prestigious Graça Aranha Prize for the best debut novel of 1943 and made her famous. That same year, Clarice married Maury Gurgel Valente, a diplomat, and the couple left Brazil for Europe and the USA. They had two sons but later divorced, and Clarice returned to Brazil in 1959. Clarice Lispector is considered one of the most talented Latin American writers of the 20th century and has been described as the most important Jewish writer since Franz Kafka. Her works have been translated into many languages, including English, French, German, and Spanish. Her most popular book was A hora da estrela (1977), which was translated into English as The Hour of the Star in 1986. Her other works included several collection of stories such as Alguns contos (1952), A imitacao da rosa (1973), and Soulstorm: Stories (1989) which was published posthumously. Clarice Lispector died of ovarian cancer at age 57. See her biography, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector (2009) by Benjamin Moser.
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