A Manual for Cleaning Women

A Manual for Cleaning Women

Selected Stories

eBook - 2015
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Baker & Taylor
Taking place in the American Southwest, an anthology of short stories, celebrating the author's trademark blend of humor and melancholy, finds miracles in everyday life and uncovers moments of grace in cafeterias, laundromats, homes of the upper class and hotel dining rooms.

McMillan Palgrave

"I have always had faith that the best writers will rise to the top, like cream, sooner or later, and will become exactly as well-known as they should be-their work talked about, quoted, taught, performed, filmed, set to music, anthologized. Perhaps, with the present collection, Lucia Berlin will begin to gain the attention she deserves." -Lydia Davis

A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians.

Readers will revel in this remarkable collection from a master of the form and wonder how they'd ever overlooked her in the first place.

Macmillan School

Stories from a lost American classic "in the same arena as Alice Munro" (Lydia Davis)

"In the field of short fiction, Lucia Berlin is one of America's best kept secrets. That's it. Flat out. No mitigating conditions." --Paul Metcalf

A Manual for Cleaning Women compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With her trademark blend of humor and melancholy, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday--uncovering moments of grace in the cafeterias and Laundromats of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Northern California upper classes, and from the perspective of a cleaning woman alone in a hotel dining room in Mexico City.

The women of Berlin's stories are lost, but they are also strong, clever, and extraordinarily real. They are hitchhikers, hard workers, bad Christians. With the wit of Lorrie Moore and the grit of Raymond Carver, they navigate a world of jockeys, doctors, and switchboard operators. They laugh, they mourn, they drink. Berlin, a highly influential writer despite having published little in her lifetime, conjures these women from California, Mexico, and beyond. Lovers of the short story will not want to miss this remarkable collection from a master of the form.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
ISBN: 9780374712860
Branch Call Number: eBook--Adult
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Emerson, Stephen - Editor


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Nov 12, 2017

This is amazing writing. Some like prose poems. The characters and settings stay with you for a long time. Going to buy the book

Jul 12, 2017

This is a collection of some of the stories Berlin wrote between 1977 and 1999 about the everyday life of working class people, some of whom are on the margins. Autobiographic. The stories have lots of surprises, unexpected twists and insights. I really enjoyed the book.

AL_PAMELAH Jan 20, 2017

Lucia Berlin had many jobs including teaching creative writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, before her death in 2004. Her stories are short, gritty, melancholy, witty... revealing snippets of grace in the mundane details of everyday life. Pretty wonderful!

AL_ANNAL Nov 16, 2016

Beautifully crafted compelling stories!

Dobrila_T Sep 06, 2016

Lucia Berlin is amazingly accomplished short story writer.

Sep 05, 2016

An excellent collection of biographical short stories. Tender, honest, sad, rough without being crude, funny, satirical. Short but detailed descriptions, the images appear in front of you.

Jan 13, 2016

Lucia Berlin was a hard drinking, multi-married, ex deb, whose travels and family led her everywhere from Alaska to Texas to Chile and California, and she put it all into these gritty, brutal, heartbreaking short stories/essays. Manual is as smart, nervy and unforgettable as the woman who wrote them.

These stories left a lasting impression. Makes my life look dreamy in comparison.

Highly recommended.*

*Content: Fbombs, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual abuse


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