A maçã no escuro

A maçã no escuro / The Apple in the Dark

Novel , 1961


Pages: 336

Martin is convinced that he has murdered his wife. In a delirium of guilt and grief, he wanders through a forest until he comes across an isolated farm run by Vitoria - an indomitable spinster who is 'afraid to live', and her flighty, obsessive cousin Ermelinda, who is terrified of death. As Martin works on Vitoria's land he is both haunted and comforted by memories of his wife and son. In the intense heat of the Brazilian summer, drought threatens both the farm and its inhabitants, and these three very different but equally domineering characters provoke each other into a realisation of their individual psychological isolation.

‘This existential epic of a desperate criminal … stands among Lispector’s finest and most enigmatic achievements.’ Publishers Weekly

‘[A] mind-bending, metaphysical novel of the psyche. … What makes this novel so continually surprising is Lispector’s unflinching fascination with the minute and sensual qualities of being alive. Perfect and mysterious.’ Max Gray, The Chicago Review of Books

‘An experimental novel about becoming, existing, and being remade: seductive.’ Kirkus Reviews

‘What in other hands might make for the premise behind a noir novel, Clarice Lispector uses to explore metaphysical questions of being, of existence expressed in a coiling language in which concrete nouns torque into abstract conceptions pushing sense to the limits of coherence…The Apple in the Dark represents Lispector at the height of her creative powers.’ Tom Bowden, The Book Beat

‘[Lispector weaves] a scant storyline out of dense and iridescent metaphysical description in a structural style she would later perfect: a narrative thin in exterior movements but pregnant with interior vibration, where the climax, though deliberately put off, reaches a well-earned catharsis when it finally arrives. … The Apple in the Dark introduces [her style] in its purist, unfiltered form. … In preserving Lispector’s idiosyncrasies, Moser shows the luster of her occult brilliance.’ Helen Ruby Hill, The Rumpus

‘May we all, after reading The Apple in the Dark, ‘stand in the calm profundity of the mystery.’ Carlos Valladares, Frieze