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.
Born in 1937 in Algeria, Helene Cixous came to Paris, where she is currently professor of English, in 1955. After a dissertation on James Joyce, The Exile of James Joyce (1968), she began to publish novels, critical essays, and plays, most notably Le Portrait de Dora (1976), a feminist retelling of a Freudian case history. Jacques Derrida has named Helene Cixous the greatest contemporary French writer. Cixous has been an active participant in the development of literary criticism after structuralism and has been a leading figure in the French feminist movement.