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Download A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories, by Lucia Berlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lucia Berlin Narrator: Kyla Garcia, Thom Rivera, Dawn Harvey, Carol Monda, Hillary Huber, Bernadette Dunn Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“I have always had faith that the best writers will rise to the top, like cream, sooner or later, and will become exactly as well-known as they should be—their work talked about, quoted, taught, performed, filmed, set to music, anthologized. Perhaps, with the present collection, Lucia Berlin will begin to gain the attention she deserves.”—Lydia Davis, from the foreword

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 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Berlin’s electrifying posthumous collection A Manual for Cleaning Women is a miracle of storytelling economy, showcasing this largely unheard-of writer’s genius for streetwise erudition and sudden, soul-baring epiphanies.”


  • “These [stories]…illuminate a gritty world…Infused with Berlin’s caustic humor and a sense of self-discovery…the most touching stories have fun with the foreboding.”


  • “Sentences so bright and fierce and full of wild color that you’ll want to turn each one over just to see how she does it. And then go back and read them all again. Grade A.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “[These stories] showcase a singular if unsung American voice.”


  • “Women who behave badly oscillate beautifully between funny ha-ha and funny-sad in these perfectly clipped, nuanced stories.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Berlin’s stories make you marvel at the contingencies of our existence. She is the real deal. Her stories swoop low over towns and moods and minds.”

    New York Times

  • “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 tales of addiction and violence, formally unpredictable and drolly grotesque, defy our expectations for working-class fiction.”


  • “Brings together forty-three of the unconventional, unnerving stories Berlin wrote over the course of thirty years…offer[ing] unusually detailed portraits of working-class lives.”

    New Republic

  • “[Lucia Berlin] may just be the best writer you’ve never heard of…Berlin’s offbeat humor, get-on-with-it realism, and ability to layer details that echo across stories and decades give her book a tremendous staying power.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Berlin is exceptionally attuned to the randomness of life, its pains and pleasures, our vulnerability and resiliency…An essential collection of jazzy, jolting, incisive, wryly funny, and keenly compassionate, virtuoso tales.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A testament to a writer whose explorations of society’s rougher corners deserve wider attention.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Berlin’s writing, both tempered and elastic, provides a perfect springboard, and the narrators use it to full advantage: gracefully leaping, twisting, and—when called for—landing with force on the emotional heart of each story. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Shortlisted for the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Fiction
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015Selection for Literary Fiction and Story Collection
  • A 2015 New York Times Top 10 Book
  • A 2015 Boston Globe Book of the Year
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick for Best Fiction of 2015
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A NPR’s Great Reads Selection of 2015
  • An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2015
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015
  • A Flavorwire Pick for Best Fiction of 2015
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2016 Voice Arts Award Nominee
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