Clarice Lispector was born in the Ukraine and was taken to Brazil as a young child. She was a law student, editor, translator, and newswriter, who traveled widely, spending eight years in the United States. "Family Ties" (1960) is a collection of short stories revealing Lispector's existentialist view of life and demonstrating that even family ties and social relationships are temporary. Although tied to each other and to the outside world, the characters are finally totally alone and separate. Lispector received praise from American critics for "The Apple in the Dark" (1967), a novel about a guilt-ridden man's search for the ultimate knowledge (Eve's apple), which he believes will bring him hope. Lispector's books are being translated into various languages in Europe, especially in France, where the critic Helene Cixous is one of her great admirers and a promoter of her works.
Ronald W. Sousa, of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, is the author, coauthor, editor, and/or translator of a number of scholarly articles and books dealing with general cultural criticism, as well as Portuguese-language and Spanish-language cultures.