91 Albert, Winnipeg, MB
Here's the thing--This book is gigantic. Massive. 650 pages of stories. There aren't many copies at the library, so if you're into short fiction--especially stories like this, that meld the uncanny with the domestic in surprising ways--you might want to buy it, and if you do, you will be reading it for a good long time. There are more than 80 stories in this book, and it works out to about forty cents a story. You can't get any more Winnipeg than me telling you the price per short story, folks. I really do live here now.
I am even going to link you to one of the stories, just to get a sense of the writing. RIGHT HERE.
Anyway, we'll stretch out reading it over two months. Start reading over the holidays, and we'll discuss at both the January and February meetings.
The Brazilian Lispector, born in Ukraine to Jewish parents, was an under-the-radar love among short fiction readers in the English-speaking world, so when this volume of collected stories came out in 2015, chatter about it exploded. It's for good reason. The stories are inventive and rule-breaking. For fans of the writing of Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector's work feels familiar, with deeply felt emotion shown instead of told. A quote from a Slate review:
Sometimes when you don’t care about how many writing rules you break, you wind up somewhere sublime and subversive and original. Reading Lispector, you see this happen with startling regularity. Also with startling regularity, mundane situations in her fiction have incisive or other-dimensional qualities, wedded to a seeming contradiction: She’s awfully good at plunging in and getting to the point, but equally good at digression and adding seeming tangents. These stories change texture and direction at will, but not capriciously.
As always, read what you like/what appeals to you, and skip the story if it doesn't work for you. Here are some suggestions so that we can discuss the same stories (which I have chosen based on title and length alone:)
Glamour and Grammar by Benjamin Moser (this is the introduction, as in "why are we spending two months on this woman anyway?")
Gertrudes Asks for Advice
The Smallest Woman in the World
The Disasters of Sofia
The Foreign Legion
Lastly, some reviews:
Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.