A Manual for Cleaning Women

A Manual for Cleaning Women

Selected Stories

eBook - 2015
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"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 DavisA 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.
Publisher: 2015
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 649 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9780374712860


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Feb 03, 2018

Love these short stories. Begin on pg 69.

Jan 20, 2018

I had been slightly familiar with Lucia Berlin, thanks to Alastair Johnston of Poltroon Press, who published her short story, "Legacy," back in 1983. This story reappears as "Dr. H.A. Moynihan" in this collection.

Berlin's writing is captivating. Her descriptions of unglamorous day-to-day living is slightly askew. The short story "A Manual for Cleaning Women" somehow paralleled my life in Oakland during the 1960s, riding the same buses in Oakland and Berkeley, being around the same sorts of people when I was a teenager.

My favorite excerpt is from this story:
Ter refused to ride buses. The people depressed him, sitting there. He liked Greyhound stations though. We used to go to the ones in San Francisco and Oakland. Mostly Oakland, on San Pablo Avenue. Once he told me he loved me because I was like San Pablo Avenue.
He was like the Berkeley dump. I wish there was a bus to the dump."

There is plenty to behold in Berlin's stories, if only they get you to see things from a different perspective in beautifully-written prose.

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.

ArapahoePamelaH 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!

ArapahoeAnnaL Nov 16, 2016

Beautifully crafted stories of people on the margins, struggling in life.

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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