Books Other Recommendations

A Manual for Cleaning Women

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin

Fiction suggested by Shirley

from Amazon – A posthumous collection of the best work of the legendary short-story writer.

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.

One reviewer states – She writes powerfully — with economy and with a minimum of dialogue. The stories are semi-autobiographical and contain extraordinary insights into the human condition. Apparently her hero was Chekhov, and she does a pretty good job of emulating him. What I most admire is her brutal honesty and authenticity. But there is generosity of spirit in her stories that makes them a bit less sad. So, no sugarcoating here, but not a total downer. Instead, she gives an accurate account of real life.”