Benjamin Moser – A Man of Words (Quite Literally!)

Benjamin Moser is an accomplished writer and translator who felt at home with writing and chose to pursue it. Benjamin did not set out to be a writer initially. He is a Brown University graduate with a degree in History. He completed his MA and Ph.D. from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Moser’s sister, Laura Moser, is also quite popular for her writings and work as a political activist.

Arts and literature were always close to Benjamin’s heart, so he stayed connected with them in many ways. He has made headlines with his incredible work in the form of biographies, essays, and journalism. He won several prizes for his publications, which fueled his passion for literary work.

Benjamin Moser tried his luck with writing and publication in 2009. His first book, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, came out in 2009. This was the biography of a Brazilian writer who had not yet gained popularity in the United States. This biography brought Clarice Lispector to the attention of global readership, as it was written so well. Clarice’s work touched Benjamin Moser deeply, and this was evident in the way he put his heart to this biography.

Next up was a collection of essays in Portuguese titled Autoimperialismo. The book coming out in 2016 was a tribute to Ocupe Estelita, which an iconic movement. This movement aims to reclaim the urban spaces of the historic city of Recife from big corporations. The essays cover several aspects of this movement, shedding light on how vital it is to preserve historical architecture.

Sontag: Her Life and Work was the next biography to come out of Benjamin’s pen next. He published his third book in 2019, and this one did as well as the first one. He did an amazing job of capturing the attention and loyalty of his readers with this one too. This book helped him win the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2020. The best thing about this biography is that it did not only appeal to the intellect of the readers but also left its mark on their hearts.

In addition to biographies and essays, he has contributed to society in journalism as well. He wrote for Harper’s Magazine from 2009 to 2011 as New Books Columnist. He served as a columnist at The New York Times Book Review. At present, he is writing for The Nation and keeps stirring waves with his thought-provoking writings.

Benjamin has been a part of several translation projects as well. He has been a part of the team dedicated to translating the works of Clarice Lispector. More than 11 volumes have been published, and the team is working on more. Benjamin has rendered his services as a translator for multiple Portuguese and French books too.

His mother ran a bookstore in Texas, and being in the company of books was bound to affect him. But, according to Benjamin, his passion for writing books did not come from his family. He says that his family worked with books and sold them, but was never involved with publishing or writing them. Rather it was the works of Clarice Lispector and V. S. Naipaul that inspired him to write. And, his work has a visible influence of these two writers as Benjamin loves both of their writing style.

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