Berättelserna är flertydiga på ett sätt som för tankarna till Alice Monroe men på ett mer drastiskt språk. Boken känns delvis självbiografisk, men frågan hur mycket som är påhittat stannar kvar efter läsningen.
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 comp ared 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 sud den exaltation in ordinary lives, or her ability to shift the tone of an entire story with an unexpected sent ence. -- 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 * Berlin writes about extremities of shame, humiliation and degradation with a ferocious elegance that allows neither bleakness not sentimentality . . . The editorial arrangement by Berlin's friend Stephen Emerson is particularly sensitive to the jazzy musicality of the stories . . . These perfectly poised cadences are the work of a writer who knew exactly how good she was. -- Jane Shilling * New Statesman * Full of humor and tenderness and emphatic grace . . . Those not lucky enough to have yet encountered the writing of Lucia Berlin are in for some high-grade pleasure when they make first contact. * Washington Post * A Manual for Cleaning Women is a miracle of storytelling. * Elle * Here's prose to fall hard for, from the first beautifully candid paragraph to the last. As Berlin's characters confide in the reader and in each other, somehow, through the "ifs" and "buts," laundry and flower clocks, grace and catastrophe, a mesh is woven that captures life itself. I'm bowled over by her. -- Helen Oyeyemi What a thrilling, welcome discovery this collection is. These are stories to beguile, fascinate and surprise. You are never sure what will happen next. As soon as I'd finished this book, I had to turn back to the beginning and start again. -- Maggie O'Farrell Berlin's writing is characterised by
Lucia Berlin (1936-2004) worked brilliantly but sporadically throughout the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Her stories are culled from her early childhood in various Western mining towns; her glamorous teenage years in Santiago, Chile; three failed marriages; a lifelong problem with alcoholism; her years spent in Berkeley, New Mexico, and Mexico City; and the various jobs she later held to support her writing and her four sons, including as a high-school teacher, a switchboard operator, a physician's assistant, and a cleaning woman.