Original title: Água Viva (1973)
Author: Clarice Lispector
Translators: Various, see different editions below

This liquid narrative (the title very literally means “living water”) is difficult to define in terms of genre, style or theme; as it says, “categories pin me down no longer.” It is like a series of pulsations, the narrator’s attempts to capture the “now-instant”, “it” or “X” of a fleeting moment or sudden sensation before it slips through one’s net. It does have a narrator, a painter, who describes the artistic creative process by comparing literature to painting and also to music — linking her writing to improvisational jazz. Whilst describing her movements, her insomnia, the cups of coffee she drinks and cigarettes she smokes, she enumerates her seemingly random thoughts, giving the text a sense of immediacy, as if it is being written as we read it.  (This is an excerpt of a review by Claire Williams, at Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction, Boulevard Books, 2001)


The Stream of Life_Clarice Lispector

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (June 1989)
Translators: Elizabeth Lowe and Earl Fitz
ISBN-10: 0816617821
ISBN-13: 978-0816617821
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Agua Viva_ClariceLispector

Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: New Directions (19 Jun. 2012)
Translator: Stefan Tobler
Edited and with an introduction by Benjamin Moser 
ISBN-10: 9780811219907 
ISBN-13: 978-0811219907 
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Agua Viva_Clarice Lispector

Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics (6 Feb. 2014)
Translator: Stefan Tobler 
Edited and with an introduction by Benjamin Moser 
ISBN-10: 0141197366
ISBN-13: 978-0141197364
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