The publication of A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin’s dazzling collection of short stories, marked the rediscovery of a writer whose talent had gone unremarked by many. The incredible reaction to Lucia’s writing – her ability to capture the beauty and ugliness that coexist in everyday lives, the extraordinary honesty and magnetism with which she draws on her own history to breathe life into her characters – included calls for her contribution to American literature to be as celebrated as that of Raymond Carver.
Evening in Paradise is a careful selection from the remaining Berlin stories – a jewel box follow-up for Lucia Berlin’s hungry fans.
‘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