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Download A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories Audiobook, 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: Thom Rivera, Dawn Harvey, Carol Monda, Hillary Huber, Bernadette Dunne, Kyla Garcia, various narrators Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2016 ISBN: 9781504676502
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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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.”

    Elle

  • “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.”

    Time

  • “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.”

    Vogue

  • “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.”

    Newsday

  • “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.”

    AudioFile

  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A NPR’s Great Reads Selection of 2015
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick for Best Fiction of 2015
  • A 2015 New York Times Top 10 Book
  • A 2015 Boston Globe Book of the Year
  • 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 New York Times Bestseller
  • An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2015
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2015
  • A Flavorwire Pick for Best Fiction of 2015
  • Winner of a 2016 Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Casting 
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About the Author

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 later 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 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.

About the Narrators

Dawn Harvey has been performing for as long as she has been able to walk and talk and sing. Already a stage and film actress, Dawn began her voice-over career several years ago. Dawn’s voice has been described as rich, warm, smooth, soothing, calming, sultry, confident, and comforting.

Carol Monda is an award-winning actor known for her work in Out of Season, After You Left, and The Gentlemen. She is an accomplished voice-over artist and an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, having lent her voice to over one hundred audiobooks, including New York Times bestsellers by Jodi Picoult, Lucia Berlin, Lisa Jackson, Chuck Palahniuk, Colum McCann, and Carla Neggers.

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards. Her recordings for Blackstone include Skinny Bastard, The Art of Social War, and The Cheater.

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.

Kyla Garcia is a four-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. Born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, she discovered acting at the age of eight when she played Lady Macbeth in a children’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. She made her off-Broadway debut at fifteen when she played Dorothy in Oz: A Twisted Musical. Eleven years after she discovered her passion for acting, she would go on to play Lady Macbeth once again in London at the Globe Theatre, where she studied Shakespeare during her third year at Mason Gross School of the Arts. She received her BFA in acting from Rutgers University.