O lustre

O lustre / The Chandelier

Novel , 1946


Pages: 264

This second book by Clarice Lispector dazzles to the point of confusing while also illuminating crucial aspects of her fiction. It tells the story of what is probably an incestuous relationship between siblings Virginia and Daniel, and Virginia’s safe solitude, which she uses to construct all shapes of what is real, distorting them, projecting misunderstandings, and revealing the fragility of the way we relate to others and to the world. Virginia’s uncompromising gaze penetrates those corners of the self we adults agree to hide. That’s why, when the surprising outcome quickly arrives, we all understand that it was the only possible ending.

"Utterly original and brilliant, haunting and disturbing." Colm Tóibín

"Lispector’s second novel is a breathless, dizzying and multi­sensory dive into the mind…The first English translation of The Chandelier is a major event, offering the anglophone world an insight into Lispector’s early grappling with the shapes and rhythms of thought." The Times Literary Supplement 

"It’s a shaggy stop-motion masterpiece, plotless and argument-less and obsessed with the nature of thought….Every page vibrates with feeling. It’s not enough to say that Lispector bends language, or uses words in new ways. Plenty of modernists do that. No one else writes prose this rich." Lily Meyer, NPR  

"Lyrical, sensual, philosophical… gorgeous, unsettling prose…" The Nation  

"A vulnerable and moving performance—with a heart-stopping payoff… An undeniable quantity of genius." Parul Sehgal, The New York Times  

"The Chandelier is not a book to be read at a fast pace, but rather one to be slowly sipped and savored, a few pages at a time—one that forces us to find other modes of reading, of approaching literature, committed to finding the pleasures of the text." Christina Soto van der Plas, Los Angeles Review of Books  

"The Chandelier is an extraordinary book." Reinaldo Laddaga, 4Columns  

"The Chandelier will reward those who enjoy challenging works about the power of the mind and about how we might grow up—without destroying who we have been, without fearing who we might come to be." Nick Oxford, Music & Literature  

"This is a haunting family fable, and will fascinate those seeking a glimpse at Lispector’s genius in development." Publishers Weekly  

"Lispector’s signature brilliance lies in the minutely observed gradations of her characters’ feelings and of their elusive, half-formed thoughts." Kirkus (starred)  

"Better than Borges." Elizabeth Bishop