‘Mystery in São Cristóvão’ by Clarice Lispector, translated by Katrina Dodson

Much as in Ionesco’s story, there is something here – barely hidden – that should worry any homeowner, family man, upstanding member of society. The fragility of bourgeois life is much attested to, but it’s always fun to see it wobble, and in this close-to-perfect story Lispector – genius of the invisible incident – gives everyone the heebeegeebees.

Appears in the New Directions / Penguin Modern Classics Complete Stories, 2015. The original, ‘Mistério em São Cristóvão’ was first published in a pamphlet by the Brazilian Ministry of Education and Health in 1952. More famously of course in the collection Family Ties in 1960)

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