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A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories (2015)

by Lucia Berlin, ルシア ベルリン (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2804411,212 (4.18)188
"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"--… (more)
Recently added bymaripax, LilyMKumpe, private library, sharvani, emrsalgado, zemac, RyanPonte, MagpieBricolage
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» See also 188 mentions

English (37)  Spanish (4)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Hay un personaje en uno de los relatos de Berlín que dice que no le gustán las fotografías de Diane Arbus, y no me extraña porque todos los personajes de Berlín son como una lectura de las imágenes de Arbus. ( )
  maripax | Jul 27, 2021 |
This kind of irony simply does not appeal to me - or it might well be that I just don't understand it. The problem for me was that I could not feel for the characters and I did not find sympathy from the author for them either. I must say it was incredibly difficult for me to concentrate on the stories, although in general I like this kind of seemingly flat stories with quite an abrupt end. Now, in the end of each story, I felt disappointed and empty. Often the characters seemed somehow quite alike, which made me read the collection as a weird kind of novel where the main character changes name and environment for each chapter. I feel that perhaps I should give this book another try, but somehow I doubt it would still be waste of time and energy. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | May 11, 2021 |
I just didn't get all the fuss about this book.
( )
  Betsy_Crumley | Jan 28, 2021 |
The only bad thing about this book is that the stories end. ( )
  lucyohlsen | Jan 12, 2021 |
For me, reading Lucia Berlin was like coming home, as some of its themes touch on issues in my own life, including shifts between working and middle class experience. I learned a lot about writing fiction, particularly developing characters and letting the character be the story. The book seems to consist of memoir, thinly veiled memoir, and a little fiction, which is another interesting element. I'm sure I'll be revisiting this book in the future; I wish the title story were online so I could share it widely. ( )
  Carrie_Etter | Nov 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
In “A Manual for Cleaning Women” we witness the emergence of an important American writer, one who was mostly overlooked in her time. Ms. Berlin’s stories make you marvel at the contingencies of our existence. She is the real deal. Her stories swoop low over towns and moods and minds.
 

» Add other authors (40 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lucia Berlinprimary authorall editionscalculated
ベルリン, ルシアAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Anweiler, JustineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, LydiaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emerson, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simpson, JonathanCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrescasana, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the collection of stories. Please do not combine it with the work that is just the title story.
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"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"--

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