Monday, 6 February 2017

Near to the Wild Heart

(January 2017)

A stunning and mercifully short journey through the inner lives of a young woman in inter-war Brazil. Lispecter's works have had a bit of a renaissance in recent years (as far as I'm aware, at least), and I can see why. The prose switches seamlessly between mimesis and stream-of-consciousness, as the orphan Joanna creates her own worlds as she passes through being raised by intolerant relatives and a loveless marriage to the unfaithful Otávio. I say 'mercifully short' because the effect of this constant tumult is as exhausting as it is captivating, and in the perfect marriage of form and function the reader can occasionly become as exasperated with Joanna as the characters around her; god help me, but I genuinely laughed out loud at some of Otávio's more exasperated interjections. Excellent stuff.

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