Tag Archives: Lucia Berlin

Make a Patron-Level Donation and Receive an Amazing Incentive Gift

Become a supporter of ZYZYVA at the Patron level today, and receive an amazing incentive gift as our thank you! For a donation of $200 or more, not only will you get a complimentary subscription to ZYZZYVA, but thanks to our friends at Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, you’ll get copies of Lucia Berlin’s Evenings in Paradise: More Stories and Welcome Home: A Memoir with Selected Photography and Letter plus a Lucia Berlin tote. You’ll also get a copy of Lydia Kiesling’s acclaimed novel, The Golden State (named one of the Best Books of 2018 by NPR, Bookforum, and Bustle), and A.G. Lombardo’s novel, Graffiti Palace (praised by David L. Ulin as …Continue reading

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Lucia Berlin: The Art of Phantom Pain

I met Lucia Berlin in 1977, the year her first small book appeared, but it wasn’t till I published her collection Phantom Pain that we became great friends (Tombouctou Books, Bolinas, 1984). Lucia was working at Alta Bates Hospital then, in Berkeley, at the switchboard and in the waiting rooms. Hospital work suited her. She was interested in extremities, in gossip, in contrary people with serious complaints, who also felt relieved to be alive. It was hard, low-paying work. She would have preferred to be writing, but she almost never said so. She did produce several new hospital stories (“Emergency …Continue reading

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Short Story Master Rediscovered: ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’ by Lucia Berlin

By any estimation, writer Lucia Berlin led a full life. As a small child growing up in 1940s Texas, she fended for herself against an abusive grandfather while her mother remained a distant figure. Her glamorous teen years were spent in Chile among wealthy expatriates, attending dances and other high society functions after her father struck it rich in the mining industry. As an adult, Berlin frequently moved across the United States and Mexico, including a lengthy stay in the Bay Area. Along the way, she married three husbands, mothered four sons, and held an array of  jobs–from cleaning woman …Continue reading

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