A Breath of Life is Clarice Lispector's final novel, 'written in agony', which she did not live to see published. Sensual and mysterious, it is a mystical dialogue between a god-like author and the creation he breathes life into: the speaking, shifting, indefinable Angela Pralini. As he has created Angela, so, eventually, he must let her die, for life is merely 'a kind of madness that death makes.' This is a unique, elegiac meditation on the creation of life, and of art.
Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer. Her innovation in fiction brought her international renown. She was born in the Ukraine in 1920, but in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Civil War, the family fled to Romania and eventually Brazil. She published her first novel, Near to the Wildheart in 1943 when she was just twenty-three, and the next year was awarded the Graca Aranha Prize for the best first novel. She died in 1977, shortly after the publication of her final novel, The Hour of the Star.