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Family Ties (1960)

by Clarice Lispector

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426660,136 (3.75)11
The silent rage that seizes a matriarch whose family is feting her eighty-ninth year.The tangle of emotions felt by a sophisticated young woman toward her elderly mother. An adolescent girl's obsessive fear of being looked at. The "giddying sense of compassion" that a blind man introduces into a young housewife's settled existence. Of such is made the world of Clarice Lispector, the Brazilian writer whose finest work is acknowledged to be her exquisitely crafted short stories. Here, in these thirteen of Lispector's most brilliantly conceived stories, mysterious and unexpected moments of crisis propel characters to self-discovery or keenly felt intuitions about the human condition. Her characters mirror states of mind. Alienated by their unsettling sense of life's absurdity, they seem at times absorbed in their interior lives and in the passions that dominate and usually defeat them.… (more)
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Having read and loved Lispector's later novels, Family Ties provides an insight into how she developed her unique style. Some of the stories fall short and don't engage (the title piece, Mystery in São Cristóvão) but some are exceptionally written and create an immersive universe in just a few pages (Love, The Smallest Woman in the World, The Buffalo). As always with Lispector, the writing is incredibly taut, and the psychological dive into the minds of the characters is impressive, particularly given the short length of the stories. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Las protagonistas de la mayoría de estos cuentos son mujeres, mujeres intentando llevar una vida "normal" pero que no se sienten nada "normales". Sensibilidades a flor de piel, pasiones a punto de saltar por cualquier detalle y una prosa preciosista que alarga los tiempos y las sensaciones de forma increible.
Muy buena lectura para ir con pausa y recreándose en cada figura. ( )
  naturaworld | Aug 12, 2016 |
I love Lispector! "The Chicken" and "Mystery in Sao Cristoval" are two especially brilliant stories in this collection. ( )
1 vote KatrinkaV | Jun 29, 2012 |
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It seemed to her that the trolley cars were about to cross through the room as they caused her reflected image to tremble.
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The silent rage that seizes a matriarch whose family is feting her eighty-ninth year.The tangle of emotions felt by a sophisticated young woman toward her elderly mother. An adolescent girl's obsessive fear of being looked at. The "giddying sense of compassion" that a blind man introduces into a young housewife's settled existence. Of such is made the world of Clarice Lispector, the Brazilian writer whose finest work is acknowledged to be her exquisitely crafted short stories. Here, in these thirteen of Lispector's most brilliantly conceived stories, mysterious and unexpected moments of crisis propel characters to self-discovery or keenly felt intuitions about the human condition. Her characters mirror states of mind. Alienated by their unsettling sense of life's absurdity, they seem at times absorbed in their interior lives and in the passions that dominate and usually defeat them.

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