A Manual for Cleaning Women
The New York Times bestseller.
'This selection of 43 stories should by all rights see Lucia Berlin as lauded as Jean Rhys or Raymond Carver' - Independent
Introduced by Lydia Davis, Lucia Berlin's stories in A Manual for Cleaning Women make for one of the most remarkable unsung collections in twentieth-century American fiction.
With extraordinary honesty and magnetism, Lucia Berlin invites us into her rich, itinerant life: the drink and the mess and the pain and the beauty and the moments of surprise and of grace. Her voice is uniquely witty, anarchic and compassionate.
'With Lucia Berlin we are very far away from the parlours of Boston and New York and quite far away, too, from the fiction of manners, unless we are speaking of very bad manners . . . The writer Lucia Berlin most puts me in mind of is the late Richard Yates.' - LRB, 1999
This selection of 43 stories . . . should by all rights see her as lauded as Jean Rhys or Raymond Carver.
John Self, Independent
In A Manual for Cleaning Women we witness the emergence of an important American writer, one who was mostly overlooked in her time. She is the real deal.
New York Times
Lucia Berlin's collection of short stories, A Manual for Cleaning Women, deserves all of the posthumous praise its author has received . . . Her work is being compared to Raymond Carver, for her similar oblique, colloquial style; her mordant humour; the recurrence of alcoholics; and her interest in the lives of working-class or marginalised people. But only Carver's very final stories share Berlin's eye for the sudden exaltation in ordinary lives, or her ability to shift the tone of an entire story with an unexpected sentence.
Sarah Churchwell, 'Best Books of 2015', Guardian