A Manual for Cleaning Women

  • by Lucia Berlin
  • Narrated by Thom Rivera, Dawn Harvey, Carol Monda, Hillary Huber, Bernadette Dunne, Kyla Garcia
  • 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"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.
Listeners 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A whole book of gritty true-life stories turned out to be a little too much

I stopped listening after one last story about some poor dogs and a porcupine and then a sledgehammer. The very long and glowing forward also grew tiring. I don't like to write negative reviews, and tbh the narrators did a pretty good job mostly, but I guess I can only take so much life-story telling from this point of view. I see enough of society's underbelly where I work, I don't need it on my down time, too.
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- Stephanie

Exquisite writing, lopsided performances

One of the narrators, whoever the woman is who reads "Grief" and others, has a voice not unlike a robot reading "talk to text." Her inflections are so alien and odd, I can barely stand to listen to her. If I speed it up to 1.25 it is slightly more bearable, but no less bizarre. The woman who reads "A manual for cleaning women" and others, does a rich, textured, feeling and gravelly performance. I find the disparity in these two voices jarring and ultimately I am just going to buy the book so that I can read it to myself. That being said, Berlin's writing is exquisite- she rights of harsh, beautiful, rough, dirty, gorgeous, sad, depressing, surreal situations and people- my heart feels like it is being torn open from beauty and grief listening to this work. I am so grateful that her work has come to me, and so sad I didn't find it sooner, that most of us didn't find it until after she was dead. Audible, seriously, consider re-recording this volume of stories, nixing the performances of the robot lady, who generally reads anything written in the third person.
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- Sazafrass

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-30-2015
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.