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Evening in Paradise


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Table of Contents

Unit - 1: The Musical Vanity Boxes Unit - 2: Sometimes in Summer Unit - 3: Andado: A Gothic Romance Unit - 4: Dust to Dust Unit - 5: Itinerary Unit - 6: Lead Street, Albuquerque Unit - 7: Noel. Texas. 1956 Unit - 8: The Adobe House with a Tin Roof Unit - 9: A Foggy Day Unit - Cherry Blossom Time: 10 Unit - 11: Evening in Paradise Unit - 12: La Barca de la Ilusion Unit - 13: My Life Is an Open Book Unit - 14: The Wives Unit - 15: Noel, 1974 Unit - 16: The Pony Bar, Oakland Unit - 17: Daughters Unit - 18: Rainy Day Unit - 19: Our Brother's Keeper Unit - 20: Lost in the Louvre Unit - 21: Luna Nueva Unit - 22: Sombra

Promotional Information

From the author of A Manual for Cleaning Women: a collection of previously un-compiled stories from the short-story master and literary sensation Lucia Berlin.

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 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, A Manual for Cleaning Women, was published to great acclaim in 2015.


Wonderful . . . Brilliant * Times *
[Evening in Paradise] shines with compassion and dark wit . . . raw, elliptical, devilishly funny tales. * Observer *
A writer of tender, chaotic and careworn short stories. Her work can remind you of Raymond Carver's or Grace Paley's or Denis Johnson's . . . One thing that makes Berlin so valuable is her gift for evoking the sweetness and earnestness of young women who fall in love . . . Berlin probably deserved a Pulitzer Prize. -- Dwight Garner * New York Times *
A fearless storyteller . . . [Berlin's] work is testimony to a kaleidoscopic life that would scare the sh*t out of most writers alive today. I adore her. -- Eli Goldstone, author of Strange Heart Beating
Lucia Berlin is a genius and the swerves of her sentences sublime. -- Lucy Caldwell
Thank god for the posthumous revival of Lucia Berlin - how sad it would be to have never experienced her distinctive, vibrant voice . . . utterly captivating. * Buzzfeed (Best Books of Fall 2018) *
Berlin's stories, largely autobiographical tales of working class life in the American West, slipped beneath the radar in her lifetime but galvanized contemporary readers. Now we have a second, smaller volume that is every bit as good as its predecessor. If you've never read Berlin, now's your chance. * Newsday *
Berlin . . . is a master at capturing women in states of disintegration: those who are being damaged, physically or emotionally, by men; those who are immersed in scandal or disdained by society; and those who are intentionally self-destructing. Her oeuvre contains, among lots of other things, a profound record of what shame, trauma, and hanging on by your fingernails looked like on a particular woman-or a particular kind of woman-half a century ago. * Atlantic *
Wonderful . . . Berlin's writing achieves a dreamy, delightful effect as it provides a look back through time. This collection should further bolster Berlin's reputation as one of the strongest short story writers of the 20th century. * Publishers Weekly (starred review) *
Blessedly, a second volume with 22 more stories is in no way second rate but rather features more seductive, sparkling autofiction with narrators whose names echo the author's in settings and situations that come from her roller-coaster biography . . . No dead author is more alive on the page than Berlin: funny, dark, and so in love with the world. * Kirkus (starred review) *
Any publication of hers is a major cause for celebration, as far as I'm concerned. -- Maggie O'Farrell * Guardian, Best summer books 2018 *
[Berlin's] spare evocative language and lithe turn of phrase make each phrase quietly extraordinary. * The Scotsman *
In Evening in Paradise - which reads like novel-in-stories-Berlin shows that she was a master of the short story . . . This book is so transportative, so wonderful. -- Favourite Books of 2018 * LitHub *
There's always an audacious humour and humanity to [Berlin's] writing. * Red *
Berlin expertly balances beauty and bleakness, and finds drama, joy or revelation in humdrum experiences . . . Berlin once again makes original art from her chequered life . . . When the words flowed, Berlin managed to perform small miracles with them. * Economist *
You might assume that these represent the crumbs from the table, the ones not good enough to make the first volume, but that's not the case . . . you can't keep a good stylist down, and an authentic voice begins to come through. -- John Self * Irish Times *
Lucia Berlin writes in colour. Not wishy-washy pastels, or hues described with copious adjectives, but instead saturated colour . . . Berlin looks for other ways to think about women's lives, freed from simple explanations. * TLS *
Berlin's fiction subtly complicates what it meant to be an American in the latter half of the last century . . . The stories in Evening in Paradise, Berlin's second posthumous collection, are filled again with shabby rooms and shabbier lives . . . There is no wallowing, no bathos. Instead there is an acute and varied awareness of the meaning of America, both at home and in the world. * Guardian *
More marvellous musical stories from Lucia Berlin who has an eye for the unexpected loveliness in ordinary lives as vivid, vital, impulsive women pitch themselves into the merry, melancholy, messy business of living. * Sunday Express *
There is something withholding about the way she mixes minimalism with excess that keeps those of us with the taste for it coming back . . . Berlin's gifts are not ones you have ever tried or been told to cultivate. The details she chooses are those you have purposely eliminated, with that hitch in your ear that tells you to keep everything timeless . . . It's the reason I felt so resentful at first to be shut out, because the intimacy on offer was so great. -- Patricia Lockwood * London Review of Books *
Berlin is not only a soulful chronicler of the lost corners of America, whose semi-autobiographical stories brim with red caliche clay, arroyos, drainage ditches and smelter towns. She is not only a writer of vivid bursts of language . . . She is also a distinctly female voice, a raspy Marlene Dietrich. * New York Times Book Review *
There's still plenty in Evening in Paradise to conjure the original thrill of reading Berlin. * Financial Times *
Long before the current autofiction craze, Lucia Berlin was spinning her day-to-day into powerfully spare prose that ached with brutal authenticity . . . these new volumes become a jigsaw-puzzle portrait of a long-neglected literary legend, baring the autobiographical material that filtered so forcefully into her fiction. The mystery of her fiction is not, it turns out, in the source of its inspiration. It is in how Berlin transformed her life into art that is as vital as the thing itself. * Vogue *
[Evening in Paradise] reveals just how full a body of rich work Berlin left behind . . . Time and again, the stories reveal that her subject wasn't domestic life but life itself, which for her often happened to be filtered through the domestic. * Los Angeles Times *
What molds the fiction is Berlin's artistic sensibility ? her global perspective, the shrewd compassion with which she scrutinizes her characters, and the absurdity ? not to mention the flora ? that populates the many landscapes of her world. * San Francisco Chronicle *
This never-before-published memoir and new collection are cause for jubilation. In part because they make it clear Berlin's gifts were vast, complex, and full of tonal warmths . . . Like Chekhov, Berlin was a beautiful framer of stories. * Boston Globe *
Prepare to fall in love all over again . . . the cunning, beautiful creation of a genius of the form. * NYLON *

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