Lucia Berlin

"I don't think I ever really liked the world until I met him."

Berlin began publishing relatively late in life, under the encouragement and sometimes tutelage of poet Ed Dorn. Her first small collection, Angels Laundromat was published in 1981, but her published stories were written as early as 1960. Several of her stories appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic and Saul Bellow’s little magazine The Noble Savage.Berlin published six collections of short stories, but most of her work can be found in three later volumes from Black Sparrow Books: Homesick: New and Selected Stories, So Long: Stories 1987-92 and Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-98.Berlin was never a bestseller, but was widely influential within the literary community. She aspired to Chekhov's objectivity and refusal to judge. She has also been widely compared to Raymond Carver and Richard Yates. One of her most memorable achievements was the stunning one-page story "My Jockey," which captured a world, a moment and a panoramic movement in five quick paragraphs. It won the Jack London Short Prize for 1985. Berlin also won an American Book Award in 1991 for Homesick, and was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Author's books

A Manual for Cleaning Women

A 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.

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