A Manual for Cleaning Women

eBook $9.99
A Manual for Cleaning Women

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781743539941
  • Format: eBook
  • Pub Date: 01/09/2015
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Short stories
    Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Price: $9.99


"This selection of 43 stories should by all rights see Lucia Berlin as lauded as Jean Rhys or Raymond Carver" 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

The 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. Celebrated for many years by those in the know, she is about to become - a decade after her death - the writer everyone is talking about. The collection will be introduced by Lydia Davis.


"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" Best Books of 2015, Guardian

"There is a seemingly effortless style to these beautifully observant tales of detoxing, lapsing and old affections." Sunday Express

"These perfectly poised cadences are the work of a writer who knew exactly how good she was." New Statesman

"Full of humor and tenderness and emphatic grace . . . Those not lucky enough to have yet encountered the writing of Lucia Berlin are in for some high-grade pleasure when they make first contact." Washington Post

"Here's prose to fall hard for, from the first beautifully candid paragraph to the last. . . . I'm bowled over by her." Helen Oyeyemi

"A major talent . . . A testament to a writer whose explorations of society's rougher corners deserve wider attention." Kirkus

Author Information

Lucia Berlin (1936-2004) was first published when she was twenty-four in the Atlantic Monthly and in Saul Bellow and Keith Botsford's journal The Noble Savage. Berlin worked brilliantly but sporadically throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Her stories are culled from her early childhood in various Western mining towns; her glamorous teenage years in Santiago, Chile; three failed marriages; a lifelong problem with alcoholism; her years spent in Berkeley, New Mexico, and Mexico City; and the various jobs she later held to support her writing and her four sons, including as a high-school teacher, a switchboard operator, a physician's assistant, a nurse, and a cleaning woman.