The silent rage that seizes a matriarch whose family is feting her eighty-ninth year.The tangle of emotions felt by a sophisticated young woman toward her elderly mother. An adolescent girl's obsessive fear of being looked at. The giddying sense of compassion that a blind man introduces into a young housewife's settled existence. Of such is made the world of Clarice Lispector, the Brazilian writer whose finest work is acknowledged to be her exquisitely crafted short stories. Here, in these thirteen of Lispector's most brilliantly conceived stories, mysterious and unexpected moments of crisis propel characters to self-discovery or keenly felt intuitions about the human condition. Her characters mirror states of mind. Alienated by their unsettling sense of life's absurdity, they seem at times absorbed in their interior lives and in the passions that dominate and usually defeat them.