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A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories Paperback – 25 Aug 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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  • A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market edition (25 Aug. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447294890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447294894
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

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)

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. Now readers have another chance to confront them: bits of life, chewed up and spat out like a wad of tobacco, bitter and rich. (New York Times Book Review)

[Berlin's] stories are peopled with sharp, unpredictable, vital characters (often drunk!). They hit you with a force the moment you happen upon them. (Jackie Kay Observer)

Raw and funny and breathtakingly great. (Lauren Groff New Yorker)

Berlin's stories . . . alternate between light and dark so seamlessly and suddenly that a certain emotion barely fades before you feel something abruptly different . . . The result is a fictional world of wide-ranging impact, a powerful chiaroscuro that manages to encompass the full spectrum of human experience . . . [Berlin] deserves to be ranked alongside Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, and Anton Chekhov. She excels at pacing, structure, dialogue, characterization, description, and every other aspect of the form. (The Boston Globe)

[Berlin's] writing really soars. (Literary Review)

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

This career-spanning volume should reward readers who return to it for months, years, even decades . . . Berlin's stories offer few answers, and no easy routes to redemption, but empathy pulses. (Max Liu Independent)

Book Description

A chance to be let in on a great American secret

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50 customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

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