Evening in Paradise
Hardback $34.99 - Pan Macmillan UK
Fiction - Published: 30/Oct/2018 - ISBN: 9781509882298
Lucia Berlin (1936–2004) worked brilliantly but sporadically throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Her stories are inspired by 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 held to support her writing and her four sons. Sober and writing steadily by the 1990s, she took a visiting writer's post at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1994 and was soon promoted to associate professor. In 2001, in failing health, she moved to Southern California to be near her sons. She died in 2004 in Marina del Rey. A collection of her stories, <i>A Manual for Cleaning Women</i>, was published to great acclaim in 2015. From the author of <i>A Manual for Cleaning Women</i>: a collection of previously un-compiled stories from the short-story master and literary sensation Lucia Berlin. The publication of <i>A Manual for Cleaning Women</i>, Lucia Berlin’s dazzling collection of short stories, marked the rediscovery of a writer whose talent had gone unremarked by many. The incredible reaction to Lucia’s writing – her ability to capture the beauty and ugliness that coexist in everyday lives, the extraordinary honesty and magnetism with which she draws on her own history to breathe life into her characters – included calls for her contribution to American literature to be as celebrated as that of Raymond Carver.
<i>Evening in Paradise</i> is a careful selection from the remaining Berlin stories – a jewel box follow-up for Lucia Berlin’s hungry fans.
‘Lucia Berlin’s collection of short stories, <i>A Manual for Cleaning Women</i>, 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’, <i>Guardian</i>
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