Julie Salamon writes in the New York Times:
When Gregory Rabassa talks about Clarice Lispector, it is evident that his infatuation with her isn’t purely literary. “Those blue eyes, right out of Thomas Mann, ‘The Magic Mountain,’ ” he sighed, during a recent interview. “She was so beautiful.”
Mr. Rabassa is a renowned translator, of Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Amado and Mario Vargas Llosa – and of Lispector, who became, in the mid-20th century, one of Brazil’s most influential writers, described as the Kafka of Latin American fiction. Her works have been translated into film and dance and she is famous in literary circles. But she is almost unknown outside of them, particularly in the United States, where all her books combined sell a few thousand copies a year, mainly in Latin American studies courses on college campuses.