A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories

A Manual for Cleaning Women Selected Stories 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

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  • Title: A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories
  • Author: Lucia Berlin Stephen Emerson Lydia Davis
  • ISBN: 9780374202392
  • Page: 124
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 uppeA 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.Readers will revel in this remarkable collection from a master of the form and wonder how they d ever overlooked her in the first place.

    One thought on “A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories”

    1. My foundation as a writer was shaped by these stories. I first read most of them in 1984, when I went to grad school in writing at U of Colorado in Boulder. Lucia was one of several wonderful profs I had there, but it was her stories alone that I read, with awe, and said, "THAT is what I want to do!"Quiet awe, by the way. That's the beauty of these stories. No kings or dukes or ladies in waiting losing their heads or fighting for the crown. No grand sweeping anything, no boisterous narrator, sho [...]

    2. LA DONNA CHE CADDE SULLA TERRALa vita o la si vive o la si scrive, diceva Pirandello.Lucia Berlin invece l’ha vissuta e scritta, prima vissuta e poi raccontata, ma anche contemporaneamente.Non è stata certo l’unica ad abbinare vita e arte, ma a lei sembra riuscito particolarmente bene, il connubio è pressoché perfetto.Pensai: voglio un uomo che per salutare suo padre lo bacia.[Irresistibile] Lucia Berlin a 29 anni.C’è un’ironia particolare nelle parole della Berlin, che taglia tutto [...]

    3. I know already, just four stories in, that this will be a 5-Star read for me. And that a few weeks from now—because I am reading slowly, to savor each bit— I will struggle to pick my favorites from the forty-two short stories collected here. So this review contains tidbits from those stories which most capture my heart and brain and I will update as I move along. Angel's LaundromatA laundromat . . . that transient, warm, sad space . . . where we watch others sorting, folding, watching us But [...]

    4. I first met Lucia Berlin in 1991 as the significant other of one of her sons, who remains my closest friend. Though I knew she wrote short stories, it was something that was mentioned in passing and I never seemed to make the time to read them. I am thankful that I didn't. My age and experiences have just added to the thrill of discovering her writing now. I wish you could be here to see this, Lucia. Your time has come.I was a little afraid to read this book. What if I didn't like it? Or think i [...]

    5. What a wonderful discovery: how is it possible only few of us knew of Lucia Berlin? Hard core readers should all be in love with her without question. Her stories are pitch perfect: witty, unpredictable,funny, tragic, sad. Her humor is oblique, original. The stories are so personal, clearly autobiographical, and I wonder if there were a few - about her alcoholism so painful to read - that she may have not wanted to see them published. No matter how self destructive she may have been, there is al [...]

    6. Reading this collection of short stories was a little like going to MOMA and admiring a piece of modern art you know nothing about. At first you think, hmm, it's kinda neat, but then the harder you look the more the beauty shines through.As the stories unfold in A Manual for Cleaning Women you realize they are all loosely connected, that there is a strand of consciousness. Gradually, Berlin's words begin to eat away at you.I won't say I loved this book but what I will say is that her words haunt [...]

    7. Lucia Berlin nasceu no Alasca em 1936. Casou três vezes e teve quatro filhos. O primeiro marido abandonou-a grávida do segundo filho. O terceiro era viciado em drogas. Aos 32 anos estava sozinha e não voltou a casar. Para sobreviver e criar os filhos trabalhou como professora, empregada doméstica, recepcionista, assistente hospitalarDurante um ano, parou a sua vida e foi cuidar da irmã em fase terminal de cancro. Na juventude foi-lhe diagnosticado escoliose que a obrigou a usar um suporte d [...]

    8. I wasn't going to review this book. I really wasn't. Because how does one even begin to go about describing what it feels like to be in love? Ok, maybe that's hyperbolic, but at the same time I'm feeling the same excitement and utter loss for words. I almost skipped this book because of all the hype. Because that's the kind of person I am. I figured there's no way I won't be disappointed by a book getting this much press and acclaim. But I am here to tell you that I, the coldest heart this side [...]

    9. Lucia Berlin (1936 – 2004)A minha paixão pelos contos foi-me incutida, essencialmente, por dois escritores norte-americanosRaymond Carver com dois livros: ” De Que Falamos Quando Falamos de Amor” e ” Queres fazer o favor de te calares?” eFlannery O´Connor com outros dois livros: ” Um Bom Homem é Difícil de Encontrar” e ” Tudo o Que Sobe Deve Convergir”. Ultimamente,Alice Munro,Lydia Davis eRichard Yates são as minhas preferências na área do conto, em leituras altamente r [...]

    10. A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin is an amazingly wonderful collection of short stories. They share themes and characters so in some ways this collection shares some of the feeling of a novel but each story is a complete, vivid moment in itself. The people are so realized that I found myself thinking of them as real-more real in some ways than people who are actually alive since I got to know these people so much better than you can get to know most people you meet. E [...]

    11. per favore, non consideriamola la miracolata della narrativa americana. ha avuto un discreto numero di sfighe, sì. ed è stata scarsamente considerata in vita (vero) per diventare oggetto di un piccolo culto appena dopo la morte (nel 2004 il giorno del suo 68mo compleanno, tanto per non farsi mancare nulla). in più era sfrontatamente bella e altrettanto sfortunata nelle relazioni, e ha sofferto quasi tutta la vita di una malattia, la scoliosi, che l'ha afflitta senza conferirle quell'aura nobi [...]

    12. Tutto ciò che avevo eri tuUno dei grandi pregi di questo libro sta nella gioia di vivere che esprime, con un senso di grazia e opportunità tipiche di un talento singolare, segnato da una profonda esperienza introspettiva e insieme da una malinconia che spinge a sperimentare ogni cosa con spietato amore per il caso e l'avventura. Il materiale è amoroso e corporeo, pittorico e musicale; percorre sentieri eterni e indimenticabili che conducono in territori radicali, ingannevoli e accoglienti. Fo [...]

    13. Las historias de Lucia Berlin son pequeñas píldoras de efectividad y potencia narrativa, deslumbrantes vistazos a una realidad que podríamos calificar de cotidiana o peregrina, pero que en realidad esconde un apasionante registro de experiencias extraordinarias. Si repasamos un poco la biografía de la autora, descubrimos a una mujer que llevó una vida fascinante y vertiginosa, no exenta de demoledores reveses, desplazamientos continuos, fracasos sentimentales e incluso una agonizante batall [...]

    14. Las sabiasSoñé. Atravesaba una versión de mi barrio con casas abandonadas. Nada tras las puertas. Nada tras las ventanas, y un silencio ardiente en pleno medio día. Nunca me pregunté por la suerte de mis vecinos, o de mi familia. Tenía claro a dónde debía ir. Dejé atrás el parque, la tienda de doña Angélica, la librería de usados junto a la canalización. Fui guiado por la ciudad desierta hasta llegar a la casa de mi abuela materna. La puerta estaba abierta, dentro olía a humedad. [...]

    15. This collection of short stories was recommended to me by Glen David Gold (Sunnyside, Carter Beats the Devil) on a recent trip to City Lights bookstore in San Francisco. It had been on my book list here for a while, but as soon as I got it, I ate it up in a way I usually don’t a short story collection. This collection has been drawn from several of her books published by the legendary Santa Rosa, California publisher Black Sparrow Press (and it’s always an event discovering another Black Sp [...]

    16. "A Manual For Cleaning Women" is a collection of 43 stories about women in all kinds of demanding jobs: cleaning woman, laundry hand, teacher, doctor's assistant, ER nurse, ward clerk, and switchboard operator. Most of these stories are autobiographical. The lives of these women - broken, wretched, heart-breaking - are veiled versions of Berlin's own. This comes close to a 5-star read.Berlin had a tumultuous childhood, dysfunctional parents and grandparents who drink, three failed marriages, fou [...]

    17. La donna che visse più volte.«Il mondo continua ad andare avanti. Alla fine non c'è molto altro che conti. Che conti davvero, voglio dire. Ma poi qualche volta ti capita, per un secondo, di essere toccato da questa grazia, dalla certezza che invece ci sia qualcosa che conta, che conta davvero.»Per comprendere il titolo del mio commento, e per avere qualche cenno biografico sulla vita avventurosa, sulle tante vite, vissute da Lucia (si pronuncia Lu-see-a) Berlin (e per vedere anche quanto sia [...]

    18. Foram três coisas que me fizeram olhar para este livro:- o título que para além de causar uma certa estranheza também causa impacto e aguça a curiosidade;- a capa com uma mulher, neste caso a própria Lucia Berlin, a fumar. Algo raro nos dias de hoje;- a autora, de quem nunca tinha ouvido falar.“Conheci” Lucia Berlin através dos 43 contos que aqui estão reproduzidos dos cerca de 70 que ela escreveu.São contos que têm um carácter autobiográfico em que a escrita é simples, sem flor [...]

    19. Lydia Davis, en el prólogo al libro, nos dice que “Parte de la chispa de la prosa de Lucia está en el ritmo: a veces fluido y tranquilo, equilibrado, espontáneo y fácil; y a veces entrecortado, telegráfico, veloz.” Gustándome la mayor parte de los relatos, quiero mostrar mi entusiasmo por los segundos, los entrecortados, los que parecen saltar caprichosamente de memoria en memoria, los que así destacan por esa forma tan característica en la que son narrados. Seguramente tenga toda ra [...]

    20. There are so many stereotypical things I could say about this collection like the stories "popped" off the pages and "I couldn't put it down," and all of them would be true. I felt like she was right in front of me telling me her story, that's how real these stories felt. Funny and biting, at times gritty and dark. I absolutely loved this.

    21. Este libro me ha parecido una maravilla inesperada. No soy muy amante de los relatos, es decir, que trato de escoger siempre historias convenientemente largas que me permitan zambullirme durante horas en otros mundos, pero "Manual para mujeres" por su selección de relatos, compagina todos los gustos y satisface plenamente cualquier tipo de lector. Nuestra fortuna es que un buen editor tenga tal cantidad de relatos semiautobiográficos (donde no se sabe donde está la frontera entre la autobiogr [...]

    22. Berlin writes as if she is telling the reader the stories of her life. The stories are quirky and messy and don't have easy conclusions. They feel true. She writes about everyday life; good times, hard times, mis-adventures and detours. The same characters keep showing up in these semi-autobiographical stories - Grandpa, Uncle John, her mother, her sister Sally, her husbands, her children - but the perspective keeps changing. You never know what to expect. The cumulative effect is --- expansive. [...]

    23. I can’t overstate the importance of this book to my own writing. It strikes a perfect balance between precise language and thrilling thought. And it has so much life; the result of a woman who spent much of it cleaning houses, working in trauma wards, getting drunk and getting sober. Lucia Berlin goes up with Denis Johnson, Lydia Davis, and Barry Hannah in my short story dream team.

    24. Ya con la introducción y el Prólogo del libro es difícil sacar conclusiones propias sobre los relatos y escritura de Lucía Berlín. Solo puedo decir que me ha encantado conocerla, su narrativa me inspirado muchísimo y me ha abierto un campo de la literatura que hace mucho no leía y que había perdido interés, pero ahora no dudo en retomarlo otra vez. Berlín escribe de manera original cosas de la cotidianidad, se atrevió a escribir de forma creativa llenando de ficción su propia vida. L [...]

    25. I am obviously missing something as, try as I might, I couldn't find the delight/wonder/magnificence in these stories that every other reviewer seems to have found. The hugely overlong introduction and foreword hugely distracted me as expectations were raised so high (for me) that the stories could not possibly deliverMaybe I need to return to this at another timebut really not keen

    26. Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stops for them, maybe, but for the mourners time runs amok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides, the days growing longer and shorter, the moon. It rips up the calendar.Why isn’t this already on your to-read list? It’s the real deal, guys. Check out what that ‘, maybe,’ does.I traveled through the southwest in the 1950s, I lived in Berkely in the 1970s, and she’s got those places and times nailed here. Thank God I didn’t live in a fami [...]

    27. I am sad it took me so long to get to Lucia Berlin, but am so thankful that I have read this outstanding, wildass, vibrant writer!!! DAMN! I picked it up and couldn't put it down. These stories have the same central characters throughout taken from four separate collections. I am in LOVE with the narrator of all of these! After her death her son wrote: "Ma wrote true stories, not necessarily autobiographical, but close enough for horseshoes."The stories are set in Mexico, New Mexico, New York, A [...]

    28. "-¿Cómo piensas recoger los pedazos de tu vida?-No quiero ninguno de esos viejos pedazos. Simplemente sigo adelante, procuro no hacer daño a nadie".Lucia Berlin te habla del alcoholismo, del aborto, de la maternidad, del amor, del abandono, de la soledad, de la sexualización de la mujer, del cáncer de mama. De la vida en sí. Y esa lucha constante por salir adelante emocional y económicamente. Te cuenta aquellas experiencias laborales como mujer de la limpieza, maestra, enfermera, etc. Te [...]

    29. The best stories in this collection, which are many, rate a 5. I ate up this rather large book in short order. The stories are mostly autobiographical, according to what we learn from the two introductions, with variations on what "really happened" to a Lucia Berlin-type of woman with a different name but a similar profile: married 3 times, 4 sons, difficult childhood, moved around a lot(settings include Alaska, Costa Rica, El Paso, Albuquerque, Oakland)alcoholism, subsistence jobs. Some of the [...]

    30. Just super! She ranks with Hemingway and Carver as a short story writer. Painfully and uproariously honest and autobiographical. She lived an interesting life all over the Americas, from Idaho to Chile, went through addiction and recovery, battled scoliosis and cancer, loved numerous men, had four sons, survived childhood abuse, worked many occupations, and was a gregarious woman with friends in high and low places.

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