A Manual for Cleaning Women
Celebrating Fifty Years of Picador Books
The world just goes along. Nothing much matters, you know? I mean really matters. but then sometimes, just for a second, you get this grace, this belief that it does matter, a whole lot.
With an introduction from 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, with a voice is witty, anarchic, compassionate, and completely unique.
Part of the Picador Collection, a series showcasing the best of modern literature.
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