Welcome Home

Lucia Berlin

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01 November 2018
9781509882380
540 minutes
Synopsis

Before Lucia Berlin died, she was working on a book of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches called Welcome Home. The work consisted of more than twenty chapters that begin with Berlin in Alaska in 1936 and end in 1966 in southern Mexico. In our publication of Welcome Home, her son, Jeff Berlin, is filling in the gaps with photos and letters from her eventful, romantic, and tragic life.

From Alaska to Argentina, Kentucky to Mexico, New York City to Chile, Berlin’s world was wide. And the writing here is, as we’ve come to expect, dazzling. She describes the places she lived and the people she knew with all the style and wit and heart and humour that readers fell in love with in her stories. Combined with letters from and photos of friends and lovers, Welcome Home is an essential non-fiction companion to A Manual for Cleaning Women and Evening in Paradise.

Some short story writers - Chekhov, Alice Munro, William Trevor - sidle up and tap you gently on the shoulder: Come, they murmur, sit down, listen to what I have to say. Lucia Berlin spins you around, knocks you down and grinds your face into the dirt. You will listen to me if I have to force you, her stories growl. But why would you make me do that, darlin'? . . . Berlin's stories are full of second chances . . . bits of life, chewed up and spat out like a wad of tobacco, bitter and rich.

New York Times Book Review on A Manual for Cleaning Women