Lucia Berlin


Born
in Juneau, Alaska, The United States
November 12, 1936

Died
November 12, 2004


Berlin began publishing relatively late in life, under the encouragement and sometimes tutelage of poet Ed Dorn. Her first small collection, Angels Laundromat was published in 1981, but her published stories were written as early as 1960. Several of her stories appeared in magazines such as The Atlantic and Saul Bellow’s little magazine The Noble Savage.

Berlin published six collections of short stories, but most of her work can be found in three later volumes from Black Sparrow Books: Homesick: New and Selected Stories, So Long: Stories 1987-92 and Where I Live Now: Stories 1993-98.

Berlin was never a bestseller, but was widely influential within the literary community. She aspired to Chekhov's objectivity and refusal to judge. She has also
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Average rating: 4.16 · 22,600 ratings · 3,216 reviews · 21 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Manual for Cleaning Women...

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Evening in Paradise: More S...

3.98 avg rating — 2,087 ratings — published 1981 — 4 editions
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Welcome Home

3.70 avg rating — 533 ratings — published 2018 — 25 editions
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Siivoojan käsikirja 2 - Tan...

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4.08 avg rating — 226 ratings3 editions
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So Long: Stories 1987-1992

4.54 avg rating — 178 ratings — published 1993 — 7 editions
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Where I Live Now: Stories 1...

4.47 avg rating — 186 ratings — published 1999 — 6 editions
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Was ich sonst noch verpasst...

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4.06 avg rating — 101 ratings5 editions
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Homesick: New and Selected ...

4.63 avg rating — 59 ratings — published 1990 — 4 editions
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The Musical Vanity Boxes

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4.39 avg rating — 41 ratings
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Angels Laundromat

4.29 avg rating — 31 ratings — published 1981 — 2 editions
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“Poor people wait a lot. Welfare, unemployment lines, laundromats, phone booths, emergency rooms, jails, etc.”
Lucia Berlin, A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories

“I’m having a hard time writing about Sunday. Getting the long hollow feeling of Sundays. No mail and faraway lawn mowers, the hopelessness.”
Lucia Berlin, A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories

“The only reason I have lived so long is that I let go of my past. Shut the door on grief on regret on remorse. If I let them in, just one self-indulgent crack, whap, the door will fling open gales of pain ripping through my heart blinding my eyes with shame breaking cups and bottles knocking down jars shattering windows stumbling bloody on spilled sugar and broken glass terrified gagging until with a final shudder and sob I shut the heavy door. Pick up the pieces one more time.”
Lucia Berlin, A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories

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